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20/04/24 | 6:18 pm

Nepal: First Rainbow International Tourism Conference held in Kathmandu

By: Sweta Singh (Kathmandu)

First Rainbow International Tourism Conference in Nepal took place in Kathmandu organised by civil society Mayako Pahichan in association with Nepal Tourism Board.

Chief Guest of the event, Bhagawati Chaudhary, Minister of Women, Children and senior citizen inaugurated the even along with Sunil Babu Pant, first openly gay member of Parliament in Asia. 

LGBTQ participants and experts in their field spoke on pink tourism and bringing inclusiveness in tourism sector to boost economy of any country. 

EU Ambassador in Nepal Veronique Lorenzo expressed that Nepal being LGBTQ friendly country, has great prospects to attract tourists as compared to other LGBTQ non-friendly Asian countries. Nepal visioned itself to be favourable destination wedding and honeymoon vacation place for LGBTQ community from its two big neighbours along with other countries. 

Critical topics such as LGBTI+ travel, accessible tourism, cultural sensitivity, and community engagement were discussed to create a more inclusive and equitable tourism sector.

Sean Howell, founder of Hornet company targeting LGBTQ community shared global statistics about LGBTQ market. There is USD 202 billion global spend by LGBT travelers, which can be tapped by countries to make their tourism industry LGBTQ friendly and open queer destination. 

Through collaborative efforts with key stakeholders, including the Nepal Tourism Board, international organizations such as the World Bank and USAID, and the vibrant private sector, this conference endeavoured to champion initiatives that celebrate the rich tapestry of human diversity.

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