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IGLTA Foundation partners with Pacific Asia Travel Association for conference scholarship

Posted : 21 April 2018 04:59:34 | By TWO Bureau | New Delhi

IGLTA Foundation partners with Pacific Asia Travel Association for conference scholarship

The IGLTA Foundation has partnered with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) to provide a unique opportunity for a Hong Kong Polytechnic University tourism student to attend the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association’s 35th Annual Global Convention, set for May 9-12 in Toronto, Canada.


Thanakarn (Bella) Vongvisitsin has been selected to attend the conference, which is considered to be the premier educational and networking event for the global LGBTQ tourism industry.


"The IGLTA Foundation is honoured to partner with such a distinguished organisation such as PATA to provide opportunities to deserving young individuals in their pursuit to further understand and to strengthen LGBTQ global tourism," said IGLTA Foundation Board Chair, Gary Murakami, CMP, CMM, of MGM Resorts International. "We believe strongly that access to education and networking opportunities at the IGLTA Annual Global Convention is a pillar of the Foundation's efforts and working with PATA is a key to our success."


Thanakarn (Bella) Vongvisitsin, a Thai national, is working on her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). The conference scholarship provides an all-expenses-paid trip and conference registration to the event.


"It is my greatest honour and opportunity for me to be awarded with PATA/IGLTA Scholarship that fully supports my travel to attend the world's biggest LGBTQ tourism convention,” said Ms Vongvisitsin. “I am so thrilled to integrate my direct experience as an LGBTQ advocate, a member of the transgender community and my research background in tourism and hospitality management to fully contribute to LGBTQ tourism research. I feel that this scholarship is the kick-off for me, and this chance will help me to learn the best practices from LGBTQ tourism experts.”


This is the sixth year the IGLTA Foundation has offered its Building Bridges Scholarship Programme to tourism students and small business owners, and it is the second time the non-profit has collaborated with another organisation on the project. IGLTA and PATA formed a partnership in 2015 and the application process for this joint sponsorship was open to students attending educational institutions that are PATA International members.


“PATA holds the fundamental belief that all travel and tourism stakeholders have an equal voice that should be heard, and we continually work to establish bridges for all people of goodwill from all countries to access and empathise with each other. In addition, we have always been a strong advocate for the development of young tourism professionals within the region. This scholarship highlights our commitment to both these endeavours,” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy. “I would like to personally congratulate Bella on being selected for this tremendous opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the travel and tourism industry, and the significant impact gay and lesbian tourism has socially and economically across the globe.”

Tags : IGLTA, Foundation partners, Pacific Asia, Travel Association, conference scholarship, TravelWorldOnline

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