The IGLTA Foundation announced today the recipients of this year’s conference scholarships for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association’s Annual Global Convention (9-12 May, Toronto). IGLTAF’s scholarship program was created to support the next generation of LGBTQ travel professionals (and allies). Convention scholarships are awarded to small travel business owners in emerging markets and university students pursuing careers in the tourism industry.
“The scholarship program is a cornerstone focus for the IGLTA Foundation,” said Gary Murakami, CMP, CMM, Chair, IGLTAF Board of Directors. “Through our global network, we can accelerate the professional development of deserving and passionate individuals, both LGBTQ small business owners and students from the local community, who are focused on promoting LGBTQ tourism and making the travel landscape a more welcoming place.”
David Martin Small Business Scholarship
This scholarship category was renamed for 2018 to honor IGLTA’s late volunteer ambassador in Spain, David Martin, a dedicated supporter of LGBTQ business. These scholarships are awarded to LGBTQ business owners in either emerging markets or destinations facing challenges to developing LGBTQ tourism.
This year’s recipients are:
Michael Kajubi, McBern Travel & Tours, Uganda. Kajubi founded his company in Mukono in 2013 and became an advocate for LGBTQ travel safety in a
country known for homophobia. “I look forward to pioneering LGBTQ tourism in Uganda and later all over East Africa; my desire is for McBern to be the number one trusted company for LGBTQ travel in this region,” he said. “Growth of numbers of clients will also give me chance to provide employment to more LGBTQ people here in Uganda, It is not easy finding employment in Uganda if one is labeled gay, so this will help me support our own.”
Jarett Sprock, PinkCuraçao.com, Curaçao. Launched in 2015, PinkCuraçao.com, co-owned by Sprock, provides a web resource for visitors and monthly events for locals and tourists alike. “Living in Curaçao, the changes in the world can sometimes happen while we remain standing still, happily ensconced on our sunny island,” he said. “However, it is important to remain up to date on changes and demands from our travelling LGBTQ family. I hope to take PinkCuraçao.com to the next level by being able to offer coaching tips to companies that wish to address the LGBTQ tourists visiting the island. It’s painfully obvious that staff in some cases do not know how to handle situations; for example, where a tourist of the same sex is partaking in some harmless flirting.”
Building Bridges Scholarship Program
The IGLTA Foundation also supports convention registration for hospitality students in/near each year’s convention host city. This year’s Toronto-area recipients are: Marco Briganti and Nicholas Tremblay of Ryerson University and John Chervy Rosal of Centennial College.
All scholarship recipients participate in the entire IGLTA convention program, ensuring they will have the opportunity to connect with travel industry leaders from around the world, receive mentorship from professionals in their areas of interest and attend educational sessions.
The IGLTA Foundation thanks its Scholarship Founding Partner Delta Air Lines for generously providing round-trip flights to Toronto for this year’s David Martin Small Business Scholarship recipients. For more information, please visit iglta.org/convention.
About IGLTA & the IGLTA Foundation
The International Gay & Lesbian 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. IGLTA’s mission is to provide information and resources for LGBTQ travelers and expand LGBTQ tourism globally by demonstrating its significant social and economic impact. The association’s membership includes LGBTQ-welcoming accommodations, destinations, service providers, travel agents, tour operators, events and travel media in more than 80 countries In 2012, the philanthropic IGLTA Foundation was launched to support the mission of the association and its membership through education, research and leadership development. For more information, please visit iglta.org or iglta.org/foundation and follow us on social media @IGLTA or the IGLTA Foundation Facebook page.