Taleb Rifai, the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) today addressed the ongoing 34th IGLTA Annual Global Convention in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Reaching out to the global LGBT Travel and Tourism Industry the highest authority for this industry addressed the full audience of attending IGLTA members by video today.
This is the transcript of Taleb Rifai’s speech:
On behalf of the World Tourism Organization, the United Nations’ specialised agency for travel and tourism, I would like to welcome you all to the 2017 IGLTA Annual Global Convention.
I’m so sorry that I could not join you personally and be there with you on this occasion, as prior commitments held me away from you.
I wish to thank IGLTA, the most valued UNWTO Affiliate Member, and particularly its good President John Tanzella for their strong support and active involvement with UNWTO.
Over the years, IGLTA and UNWTO have enjoyed a strong a fruitful relationship together, built on a common vision of tourism with no barriers and no prejudices.
I am very pleased also, that UNWTO and IGLTA have joined forces once again to produce this Second Global Report on LGBT Tourism and I want to thank here, on this occasion, all of those who have contributed to this very important piece of research.
My dear friends, LGBT tourism is a powerful vehicle for economic development. It also provides recognition to LGBT communities and gives destinations a reputation of acceptance, inclusion, and diversity that they deserve.
This dynamic segment is expanding to reflect the great area of opportunity that it offers destinations.
The challenge will always remain to understand LGBT tourism without stereotyping it.
Engaging with LGBT tourism is an important opportunity to raise awareness, and to raise our voice and stand against any form of discrimination in our sector, in our society and in our world.
My dear friends, as we celebrate the International Year for Sustainable Development 2017, I invite each and everyone one of you to become an ambassador for mutual understanding and respect of universal human rights. Together, I trust that we will shape a more inclusive, tolerant tourism sector for all.
I thank you all very much on this occasion and wish you all the best.
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