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Nepal to host first ever rainbow tourism conference in April

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Kathmandu, Feb 9 (PTI) Nepal is hosting a tourism conference to promote the Himalayan nation as a safe and attractive destination for tourists from the sexual minority community.

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The two-day tourism event 'Yatra 2 Happiness: First Rainbow Tourism International Conference' will be held on April 20-21 in Kathmandu.

The event is being organized at the joint initiative of the Nepal Tourism Board and Maya ko Pahichan Nepal (MKPN).

The first-ever rainbow tourism conference being organised in the country will attract international tourism entrepreneurs, hoteliers, international donor agencies, celebrities and media persons among others, said Sunil Babu Panta, executive director of MKPN, who is the first LGBT Lawmaker of Nepal.

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“The conference will play a significant role in the economic upliftment of the LGBT community of Nepal, generating employment opportunities and taking the tourism sector of the country to a new height at a time, when Nepal has achieved remarkable progress towards ensuring the rights and welfare of the sexual and gender minorities,” according to LGBT activist Panta.

Nandini Lahe Thapa, acting CEO of Nepal Tourism Board, has assured to provide all necessary support and assistance for the promotion of rainbow tourism in the country saying that “LGBT-based tourism can be an important segment of the tourism industry.” There are lots of possibilities of rainbow tourists coming to Nepal from India and China as there is very negligible progress made in the areas of rights and welfare of the sexual minorities in these two neighbouring countries, she pointed out.

The two-day event will feature entertainment programmes, fashion shows, food festivals, film shows, and offers of attractive travel packages, informed the organisers.

Some 150 travel trade operators and hoteliers will take part in the international Rainbow Tourism conference. PTI SBP AMS

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