Nepal leads inaugural Rainbow Tourism Conference, pledges safe destination for all | Travel - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Nepal leads inaugural Rainbow Tourism Conference, pledges safe destination for all

PTI | | Posted by Akanksha Agnihotri, Kathmandu
Apr 21, 2024 03:40 PM IST

Nepal takes a pioneering step in tourism inclusivity with its first Rainbow Tourism Conference, affirming itself as a safe destination for the LGBTQ+ community.

The first International Rainbow Tourism Conference opened here on Saturday, with Nepal offering itself as a safe and respectful destination in South Asia for the sexual minority community. The single-day international conference was organised by Mayako Pahichan Nepal, a non-governmental organisation. “This pioneer event organised by Mayako Pahichan Nepal in collaboration with Nepal Tourism Board marks a significant milestone in promoting diversity and inclusivity within the tourism industry,” reads a press release issued ahead of the event.

Nepal advocates for diversity in tourism with first Rainbow Tourism Conference.(HT archive)
Nepal advocates for diversity in tourism with first Rainbow Tourism Conference.(HT archive)

“We are thrilled to host the first rainbow tourism conference in Nepal," said the executive director of Mayako Pahichan Nepal, Sunil Babu Pant, also the first Parliament Member from the LGBT community. “This conference represents a critical step forward in creating a tourism industry that marks diversity and embraces inclusivity,” he said “Nepal can be a perfect destination for pink tourism as the country’s constitution recognises the rights of the LGBT community,” he added.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

The conference's main objective is to position Nepal as an LGBT-friendly tourism destination. The international conference was inaugurated by Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens, Bhagawati Chaudhary, who underlined the need to forge collaboration among different stakeholders to promote LGBT tourism in Nepal.

She said that so far, 3,100 people belonging to the LGBT community have been formally registered in Nepal, though the exact number of people belonging to the community is much higher than that. Asserting that Nepal has formulated many laws guaranteeing equal treatment and a violence-free atmosphere for the sexual minority community, Cahudhay said that there is a need to pay attention to their effective implementation.

Assuring that the government is committed to protecting the rights and welfare of the LGBT community, she said, “Nepal not only offers a safe and ensuring environment for LGBT travellers, it also offers same-sex marriage and honeymoon destination for the sexual minority community.” Issuing a declaration, the conference expressed its unwavering commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the tourism industry.

"This groundbreaking initiative reflects Nepal's steadfast dedication to becoming a beacon of inclusivity in global tourism. As we move forward, we pledge to uphold the principles of diversity, equity, and respect, striving to create a world where every traveller feels embraced and empowered," reads the declaration. Nepal’s Supreme Court in 2007 issued a landmark decision asking the government to formulate laws recognising the identity of the third gender and scrap all discriminatory laws.

In June 2023, through an interim order, it allowed same-sex marriage to be registered legally. The international conference will see the participation of as many as 120 people, including those belonging to sexual minorities, various non-governmental organisations, activists, writers and media persons from Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Germany, Spain and the US.

Nepal’s Supreme Court remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding "justice and equality for all citizens”, said Hari Phuyal, Justice at the Supreme Court of Nepal. “Rainbow tourism not only promises economic growth but represents an opportunity to foster inclusivity and empowerment with the LGBTI community,” he said.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crick-it, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Quizzes, Polls & much more. Explore now!.

Catch your daily dose of Fashion, Taylor Swift, Health, Festivals, Travel, Relationship, Recipe and all the other Latest Lifestyle News on Hindustan Times Website and APPs.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On