IGLTA Honors are chosen by the association's board of directors and presented during each year's Annual Global Convention to individuals or businesses that have improved the global landscape for LGBT travelers.
"As we're holding our convention on the African continent for the first time, I cannot think of a better award recipient than Archbishop Desmond Tutu." says IGLTA Board Chair San Melesurgo. "He has been a global inspiration since the demise of apartheid, using his high profile to campaign for the oppressed and defend human rights. He is a true leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia."
Tutu's rise to international prominence began when he became the first black person to be appointed the Anglican Dean of Johannesburg in 1975 and emerged as one of themost eloquent voices of the South African anti-apartheid movement. In 1984, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Although he retired as Archbishop of Cape Town in 1996, he remains a moral compass for the continent, speaking out against anti-gay policies of other African countries. Tutu has been widely quoted as saying. "I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this."
Nondumiso "Ndumie" Funda is a gay female activist who grew up in Gugulethu, a black township near Cape Town. She was raised in a strict Seventh Day Adventist family, in a society where women couldn't be ouspoken and they were not equal, but she knew she was a lesbian and a feminist at an early age. The pain and struggle of those less fortunate inspires her to fight for change, first in the anti-apartheid movement and now for the rights of LGBT people. In March 2008, after the death of fiancee, Nosizwe Bizana, and her dear friend Luleka Makiwane, she founded the organization Luleki Sizwe. Both women were raped because of their sexual orientation and died from HIV/AIDS. Luleki Sizwe, which means "discipline the nation constructively", focuses on education to combat homophobia. Funda also looks after lesbian women who have been abused in horrendous wasy and are living with HIV and other scars. She has conducted studies into local hate crimes as well.
Ms. Shiho Ikeuchi, Director of Overseas Marketing at the Hotel Granvia Kyoto, Japan, has over 20 years of professional experience in the hospitality industry, with an extensive and diverse management background in hotel and restaurant operations, sales and marketing. Over the past few years, Ms. Ikeuchi has been aggressively involved in the development of LGBT tourism in Japan, and steadfastly works to increase the number of national IGLTA members. In her role as the Director of Overseas Marketing, Ms. Ikeuchi's unwavering focus towards attracting and satisfying the special needs of LGBT travelers, as well as her tireless efforts towards organizing the involvement of local communities and governments, are talents that are truly deserving of this Honor.
Shintaro Koizumi, president of Out Asia Travel - a gay and lesbian welcoming tour operator offering tour packages in Asia. Shintaro has over 25 years experience in hotel/travel agency industry, and grounded connections in Asia, specializing in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore. Not only does he act as tour operator, he also consults several commercial company and tourism boards in Japan while promoting the LGBT market inbound and outbound. He is a proud supporter of PRIDE events in Japan/Taiwan, and receives accolades from the local LGBT in Asia. Shintaro's work as Ambassador for Asia has truly earned him the honorof this award.
After working in the telecom, international communications and media industries, between them, partners David Martin and Juan Pedro Tudela shifted focus to help businesses in Spain discover the value of embracing the LGBT community as a market segment. In order to help Spanish companies and institutions understand and approach their gay and lesbian customers, David (who is also the IGLTA Ambassador for Spain) and Juan Pedro founded Diversity Consulting International, the only LGBT consultancy company in Spain. With the priceless support of Mrs. Ana Larranaga, Director of Fitur they created back in 2011 Fitur GAY (LGBT), an exhibition and educational conference area dedicated to the LGBT tourism segment within Fitur, the International Tourism Fair of Madrid which in only 6 years of existence has become a worldwide refernce. Fitur GAY (LGBT) is committed to bring together both LGBT-specific and mainstream companies and professionals, for them to explore how they can work together in order to offer their gay & lesbian customers suitable and specific products and services.
Photo by: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
IGLTA 33rd Annual Global Convention. Copyright © 2017 IGLTA. All rights reserved.