22 September 1999
Wellington rolls out the … um … pink carpet
Wellington is preparing a grand welcome for the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association Symposium taking place
in the Capital over the weekend.
Wellington beat off stiff competition from Cologne, Barcelona and Auckland to host the conference, which will attract
about 80 delegates from several countries.
Deputy Mayor Kerry Prendergast couldn’t be more delighted that Wellington is hosting the conference, the significance of
which she describes as “potentially huge” for the local tourism market.
“The delegates are all travel professionals such as travel agents, tour operators and publishers of travel guides with a
gay focus,” says Deputy Mayor Prendergast.
“We want these people going home happy and sending their clients back to Wellington.
“Wellington is already doing very nicely thank you as a tourism destination – we’ve overtaken Rotorua as New Zealand’s
fourth most popular destination – but we have to continually keep on the front foot. This conference is a great
opportunity that we’re determined to capitalise on.”
A cheeky welcoming campaign produced by The New Colenso including a billboard, signage at the airport, a full page ad in
the newspapers and a specially produced booklet will help reinforce the image of Wellington as a fun and gay-friendly
“It’s a very audacious campaign which we hope will appeal to the whole community’s sense of humour,” says Deputy Mayor
“You can pretty much bet some members of the public will see the campaign as controversial but they will be the
minority. Wellington has a strong gay community and the city has a proud history of celebrating its diversity regardless
of whether that diversity is social, cultural or ethnic.
"We’re very proud to be a gay-friendly city and we want to stand up and say so."