Why this Tour Group Won’t Receive a Warm Welcome

An LGBT tour operator has received death threats and hate messages on social media after launching a holiday to Ethiopia. Chicago-based Toto Tours’ 16-day trip to Ethiopia is due to take place at the end of October and includes religious sites such as the Debre Berhan Selassie in Gondar and the ancient cave monasteries in the mountains of Lalibela. But religious groups in the country are urging the Ethiopian government to ban the company from visiting religious sites, warning that gay travellers could face violence. Ethiopia has strict anti-gay laws, with homosexual acts punishable by up to 15 years in prison. According to Article 629 of the Ethiopian Criminal Code, this applies to both nationals and foreigners. Toto Tours, which has been organising trips around the world for LGBT travellers and their friends and families since 1990, describes itself as “dedicated to creating exciting travel opportunities that enable our community to explore the wonders of the world in comfort and safety while having the time of our lives”. It has also run tours to Uganda and Tanzania, both of which currently criminalise homosexual acts.SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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