TORONTO (12 February 2018)—Toronto-based Rainbow Railroad will receive IGLTA’s Pathfinder Award on 11 May at Voyage, the signature fundraising event for the IGLTA Foundation. Rainbow Railroad is a largely volunteer-based charitable organization that assists LGBTQ+ people seeking safe haven from state-enabled violence, persecution and the threat of death where homosexuality is criminalized.
The Pathfinder Award, part of the annual IGLTA Honors, is given to an individual, business, or organization that has made significant positive impact on their destination, demonstrating the highest standard of warmth and hospitality to the LGBTQ+ community.
"We are proud to recognize Rainbow Railroad as this year's recipient of the Pathfinder Award,” said IGLTAF Board Chair Gary Murakami, CMP, CMM. “Given the current unstable global climate and relative uncertainties in some countries and cultures, organizations like Rainbow Railroad are even more essential to lead us forward in our fight for equality and the ability for people around the world to live authentically without fear of persecution or harassment."
Since it was founded in 2006, Rainbow Railroad has enabled nearly 500 LGBTQ+ people to reach safe destinations – most recently, 57 LGBTQ+ individuals living in Chechnya, 31 of whom have now arrived in Canada.
“On behalf of everyone at Rainbow Railroad, and especially the individuals and families we usher to safety every year, I am grateful to accept this award,” said Rainbow Railroad Executive Director Kimahli Powell. “Our international network relies on cultivating partnerships with people and organizations that champion global equality and safe transit routes for everyone. The 2018 Pathfinder Award recognizes these shared values and illuminates opportunities to get even more people to safety.”
Voyage, an elegant evening at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York, will include a silent auction, cocktails, a networking dinner, and the IGLTA Honors, presented with the support of Visit Philadelphia, to celebrate those who have improved the global landscape of LGBTQ+ tourism. The IGLTA board of directors selects the Honors recipients, and presents them at Voyage, in conjunction with the IGLTA Annual Global Convention.
For general IGLTA convention information, please visit iglta.org/convention or email email@example.com. To purchase tickets for Voyage, please visit iglta.org/convention/rsvp/voyage/. IGLTA convention registration is not required to attend Voyage. The event is open to everyone interested in making the world more welcoming for all who travel in it.
The IGLTAF extends a special thank you to its Founding Partner, Delta Air Lines; Voyage Presenting Sponsor, Disney Destinations; and Voyage Host Sponsor, the Fairmont Royal York.
About IGLTA & The IGLTA Foundation
IGLTA, the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association is the leading member-based global organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ tourism and a proud Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. The IGLTA Foundation supports the mission of IGLTA and its membership with a focus on education, research and developing future leaders in LGBTQ+ tourism. IGLTA membership includes LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ-friendly accommodations, destinations, service providers, travel agents, tour operators, events and travel media in more than 75 countries. For more information: iglta.org or iglta.org/foundation and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @iglta.