Kevin Dallas Named AFAR Travel Vanguard

October 3, 2018

Kevin Dallas Bermuda July 2017Bermudian Kevin Dallas — the CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority — has been named a Travel Vanguard by AFAR, cited as “one of the nine individuals are harnessing the power of travel to make a difference in the world.”

“On behalf of the Bermuda Tourism Authority Board and staff, I congratulate Kevin on this wonderful global recognition,” said BTA Chairman Paul Telford. “We’re all proud of the positive media attention the Afar Vanguard Award is shining on our destination.”

The story said, “When Bermuda’s government reestablished a ban on same-sex marriage in February 2018, Kevin Dallas watched the international backlash unfold.

“Prior to the vote, Dallas, the CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, had warned the legislature of the potential consequences, speaking his mind even if it might cost him his job.

“This was the first major international challenge Dallas, a native Bermudian, had faced in his role. In 2016, he had returned home with his partner to head the 21-square-mile island’s newly created tourism authority—in part to promote Bermuda as a welcoming place for travelers of all orientations.

“The island was fresh off the America’s Cup, experiencing record tourism, and had joined much of the rest of the world in embracing LGBT rights—at least until the vote.

“Even now, Dallas is quick to point out that compared to most of the Caribbean, Bermuda has a progressive record on gay rights. The destination is an outlier in the region, where same-sex relations are illegal in at least seven countries—a legacy of British colonial laws.

“Much of the region retains antigay attitudes: In 2015, a mob shouting slurs stoned to death a young gay man in Jamaica. By contrast, homosexual conduct has been legal in Bermuda since 1994.

“Over the space of less than 30 years, [Bermuda] has come a very long way,” Dallas says.

“There’s still a lot of on-the-ground support for the LGBTQ community, he adds. Among the local efforts to promote openness and inclusiveness is a directory of gay-friendly businesses published by the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda. Participants include the Hamilton Princess Hotel, which has hosted events for OUTBermuda, the charity that challenged restoring the marriage ban.

“OUTBermuda also has the support of Carnival Cruises, which registers many of its ships on the island and filed an affidavit in support of OUTBermuda’s lawsuit. In June, the Bermuda Supreme Court sided with OUTBermuda, though the government appealed the ruling soon after. Nevertheless, “it feels like we are getting somewhere,” Dallas says, who has continued to speak out in support of gay rights.

“As the chief promoter of the island’s tourism sector, which is critical to the economy, Dallas also continues to advocate for travel to Bermuda. The conversation, however uncomfortable, needs to continue, he says—and gay travelers can help keep the issue front and center.

“For a small place in the middle of nowhere, disengaging doesn’t help at all,” Dallas says. “We’ve always been believers in the transformative power of travel.”

You can read the full story here on AFAR.

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Comments (12)

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  1. SHARI-LYNN PRINGLE says:

    Congratulations Kevin. Thanks for all that you do for Bermuda and the LGBT community within. Good to know that a Bermudian is recognized by an App that I use :) Keeping us on the map one person at a time!

  2. sage says:

    Meanwhile customs and police are dragging tourists with medical issues and prescriptions for cannabis off cruise ships and locking them up, fining them huge amounts after intimidating them and berating them and treating them worse than violent criminals.The self-righteous indignation and anti-herb hysteria displayed by the judge is a reflection of the discriminatory, unconstitutional, misguided and completely unjust laws against some drugs. This must be great for tourism, no celebrities calling for boycotting the island for these human rights atrocities, the ‘travel vanguard’ couldn’t care less either. #bermysucks.

    • Different government same $h*t Babylon system is in full effect.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      While there’s no disputing that there have been plenty of local examples of ‘sentencing inequalities ‘ of late the fact remains that until the laws change (which they surely will , eventually) these people traveling outside of their country maybe need to realize that the USA is an entity of its own.
      Maybe the whole traveling public needs to take the time out to sit down and watch the movie Midnight Express again , just as a refresher.
      The whole world does not operate the same way as your county or little neighborhood does wherever it is that you come from .
      (and ‘you’ refers to the traveling public , not ‘Sage’)

      • sage says:

        This backwards country will be the very last to change, few here consider sick people (or anyone) who use cannabis worthy of equal rights, in the eyes of many they are just drug-addled junkies one puff away from mass murder. What is worse is that we are criminalizing otherwise law-abiding, regular, good people because of anti-herb hysteria conceived of and promulgated by the good ol’ US of A.

        • wahoo says:

          Not wanting to detract from Mr. Dallas and his great news but what are the laws regarding CBD products? After all it is derived from cannabis (hemp) but contains no THC. I note that the pharmacies are allowed to sell it but nobody else, yet you can buy it as easily as you can buy a pack of gum and none of the pharmacists seem to know what to tell you if you ask questions. Can I import my own or is it summed up as “cannabis”?

          • sage says:

            Precisely why the laws against cannabis in any form should be abolished, pharmacies, who have always laughed off and shunned natural products, especially cannabis, now get the exclusive right to profit? I hope not but it wouldn’t surprise me and seems that way. I am a proponent of full spectrum cannabinoids, yes even THC, I bought the overpriced CBD for my dog who was lame and within a week he had vastly improved, doing great now even at the age of 16, no other meds. Call customs and ask about importing some, let us know what they say. Only recently the head collector sent out a memo that hemp products are illegal and considered as cannabis is. World of Idiots.

            • LOL says:

              OMG! YOUR DOG!!!
              So where again do you live? Not in Bermuda. You must be one of those paid bloggers pushing miracle cures.

  3. eve says:

    Thanks for reporting on the full story including the link to AFAR article. Appears some others wanted to ignore some parts of the article.