Welcome to Insider Out Travel, a blog about LGBT travel written by LGBT tourism professionals. Travel the globe and gain insight into the tourism industry (with a gay twist), brought to you by the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Whirlwind of Business in Cape Town



My apologies for not dedicating more time to Monday and Tuesday of Cape Town, but you would be bored with details of meetings. Needless to say, though, IGLTA met some amazing people here and we know that GLBT tourism will be able to thrive in this amazing city through all of us working together.

Monday we had a meeting on the edge of Table Bay on a beautiful summer day talking about the market, what events we should do, etc. The day was then spattered with informal meetings, hotel visits, a drive around the city (driving on the left is not very easy) and similar shenanigans. 
Monday evening we sponsored a networking reception at Friendly Society, a great bar in the gay village of Cape Town. The reception was a huge success and we met over fifty members of the GLBT tourism community. We drank and chatted well into the Monday night talking about the possibilities of business in Cape Town not to mention various topics dealing with South Africa and this fabulous city.

I did get a chance to experience a little more nightlife at that bar and then Adriaan and Newton (our friends at capetown.tv) took me over to the Bronx for karaoke night. It was very amusing, but not very busy and we were home early. All in all, a great night of brand new friends. I don't think there's anything better.
Tuesday was similar to Monday. We had tentative plans to visit Table Mountain, but the wind had picked up fiercely and the clouds were too low to enjoy the trip up. Instead we explored the waterfront, did a littls shopping and had lunch with Andre Thomas of Private Safaris. We went to this incredible sushi place called Tank. Amazing sushi, really.
The afternoon saw us meeting with Cape Town tourism at their main office downtown. They have a lovely little welcome center with a coffee shop. One of the highlights of the trip was afterwards when Wendy walked us over to a nearby hotel called Grand Daddy. This boutique hotel is very fashionable - and very unique. On the roof, the owner re-created a Trailer Park! Complete with themed 1950s and 1960s era trailers, the area is absolutely exquisite. This quickly became one of my favorite hotels of all time, and I highly recommend a visit. It's a complete slice of Americana high above Cape Town!
We met Roy Davies Monday night who invited us to dine at his hotel, The Vineyard. We had an absolutely perfect evening, touring the beautiful grounds of his suburban property and eating amazing food. It really was the perfect cap to our trip to Cape Town. It left us yearning for more of the city and country and ultimately sad we were leaving the next day.
Cape Town and South Africa are both amazing. Travel is one of those amazing things that causes you to meet new people, challenge yourself, reflect on your place in the world and just experience life. This trip did all of that as well as provide IGLTA with some great business contacts. All in all, it was perfect. Stay tuned for our next trip to this great region which cannot come too soon.

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