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Groundbreaking International Tourism Conference for Sexual and Gender Minorities Set to Boost Nepal’s Inclusivity

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Nepal is all set to host a pioneering international tourism conference focusing on sexual and gender minorities. Scheduled for January 18 and 19 under the theme ‘Journey to Happiness,’ this conference marks a historic milestone in Nepal’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

In collaboration with prominent organizations such as the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Maya’s Identity Nepal, Pahichan Foundation, and Gorkha International Rainbow, this tourism promotion conference is geared to showcase Nepal as an ideal destination for individuals from sexual and gender minority communities.

Nandini Lahe Thapa, Senior Director of the NTB, highlighted the significance of this groundbreaking event, aiming to position Nepal as a welcoming hub for sexual and gender minorities. This conference is not only a platform for advocacy but also an opportunity to create employment prospects for community members.

Maya Gurung and Surendra Pandey, celebrated for registering the first legally acknowledged rainbow marriage in South Asia, expressed optimism about the conference’s potential to generate employment opportunities. Their pivotal role in Nepal’s journey to becoming the first South Asian country to permit same-sex marriages underlines the nation’s progressive stance.

Coinciding with global advancements in the rights of sexual and gender minorities, Nepal’s constitution has officially recognized the fundamental rights of these citizens, marking a significant societal shift towards inclusivity.

The brainchild behind this initiative is Sunil Babu Pant, Asia’s pioneering gay parliamentarian and a key advocate in formulating the Jakarta Principles. Pant emphasized the economic advantages this conference could bring to Nepal, drawing parallels with Spain’s success, where targeting the LGBTQ+ community contributed up to 20 percent to the economy.

Pant emphasized the immense economic potential this conference holds, particularly considering neighboring countries like India and China, which lack recognition for same-sex marriages. Nepal stands as a beacon of progress in the region and aims to leverage tourism to foster economic growth and inclusivity.

Anticipated to draw 50 participants representing sexual and gender minorities from Nepal and abroad, the conference promises to champion inclusivity, diversity, and economic prosperity. This pioneering event aims to create waves locally and internationally, showcasing Nepal as a welcoming destination for all.

Also Read: PM Dahal Aims for Enhanced Air Safety in Nepal, Targets EU Blacklist Removal

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