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7 Oct 2015

International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association conducts Japan outreach tour

From 25 September to 1 October IGLTA traveled around Japan to participate in workshops designed to educate Japanese tourism businesses on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender market.

More than 100 tourism professionals and media attended three IGLTA-branded workshops held over the course of the week.

The 25 September seminar, "Understanding the LGBT Market," was conducted at the invitation of the Japan Association of Travel Agents as part of the JATA Tourism Expo 2015 at Tokyo Big Sight.

It was the first time LGBT programming was included in the annual trade fair, and it was the highest-attended seminar of the day

This is a new concept for many Japanese businesspeople; NHK, Japan's national television broadcasting corporation, covered the IGLTA meetings extensively.

Throughout the week, from Tokyo to Kyoto, IGLTA communications director LoAnn Halden worked with local volunteers, hotels as well as global travel companies to promote LGBT travel in Japan.

The local organizations Equal Marriage Alliance and Nijiiro Diversity also lent their support.

In the historic city of Nara, Mayor Gen Nakagawa expressed interest in the city becoming the first Japanese destination member of IGLTA and shared his commitment to promoting diversity.

"Although Japanese culture is conservative, it is welcoming by nature," Halden said. "We found everyone we met to be genuinely interested in learning more about LGBT issues and how to improve tourism in Japan. They're asking the right questions. I can see the support for LGBT equality beginning to grow within Japan's business community. There will be much more engagement between IGLTA and Japan in the future."

Reader's Comments

1. 2015-10-09 14:37  
Just who are IGLTA? Sounds like yet another unelected body
2. 2015-10-09 14:42  
Can someone find evidence of it being a non profit organisation?

Exploitation isn't nice.

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