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WTTC: New inclusion and diversity guidelines to aid global Travel & Tourism

WTTC: New inclusion and diversity guidelines to aid global Travel & Tourism
wttc
Written by Harry S. Johnson

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched its new high-level guidelines for inclusion and diversity in the Travel & Tourism sector, which have been compiled to support businesses of all sizes and provide an inclusive work environment for all employees.

Research has shown that supporting a diverse and inclusive workplace companies experience benefits such as greater profitability, increased creativity and innovation, and a happier workforce.

The ‘Inclusion & Diversity Guidelines’ were compiled from insights and frameworks developed by private sector leaders in Travel & Tourism including Hilton, Accessible Travel Solutions and JTB Corp, leading DMOs, such as IC Bellagio and Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, and industry organisations, including Travel Unity, a non-profit organisation focused on increasing diversity in the world of travel, along with major associations from other key sectors.

The guidelines are divided into four pillars:

  1. Developing a Supportive System
  2. Creating Safe Spaces
  3. Supporting an Agile System
  4. Exemplifying Inclusion & Diversity

Examples of the guidelines include:

  • Having a clear, transparent, and bias-free framework that determines how staff are remunerated and how increases are calculated.
  • Integrating diversity and inclusion goals within regional and department objectives.
  • Incorporating diversity and inclusion into organisational values and in all aspects of the business. Celebrate commitment to diversity and inclusion, provide frameworks to guide behaviour/champion fairness, reward successful demonstration of diversity and inclusion values, and create accountability, among others.
  • Providing a safe space for employees to share their feedback, over time, on the organisation and their experience of it.
  • Creating an environment that facilitates difficult but respectful conversation about diversity and inclusion.
  • Ensuring that decisions made about a certain demographic have members of that demographic in the room, wherever possible, empowering these individuals to share honest feedback and experiences
  • Having inclusive marketing, media and communication standards to dignify representation of all people, elevate authentic voice, avoid cultural appropriation and recognise dynamic diversity and intersectionality.
  • Engaging regularly, where possible, with industry bodies and local governments to share visitor feedback on diversity and inclusion, thus enabling the destination to enhance customer experiences in the future.
  • Collaborating with pertinent groups and communities around products that relate to local indigenous cultures.

Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC said: “WTTC is proud to release these important high-level guidelines, which will help Travel & Tourism businesses of all kinds, foster more diverse and inclusive workplaces.

“The Travel & Tourism sector is one of the most diverse in the world, employing people from all socio-economic backgrounds regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, with almost 50% of whom are women and up to 30% youths.”

“Furthermore, throughout its very nature, the sector promotes cultural exchange and understanding, therefore it makes perfect sense for the sector to reflect these values within the workplace as well. We look forward to seeing these guidelines make real change within the workforce.”

Chris Nassetta, WTTC Chair, President and CEO, Hilton said: “Part of what makes our industry so special is our incredible diversity – our teams come from all walks of life, and they are serving travelers from every corner of the globe. It’s critical that we create a truly inclusive home away from home for our team members and guests, respecting their differences and fostering the unique experiences they bring to every interaction. At Hilton, we’ve made strong commitments in this area and are proud to support WTTC’s Inclusion & Diversity Guidelines.”

Stacy Ritter, President and CEO, Visit Lauderdale said: “Inclusion means that all individuals feel respected, accepted and valued, which is the step that leads to awareness, which in turn leads to greater acceptance, and is ultimately the way to ending discrimination.”

“We embrace this philosophy in Greater Fort Lauderdale every day and congratulate WTTC on launching inclusion and diversity guidelines to bring this issue to the forefront of all tourism organizations.”

Hiromi Tagawa, WTTC Vice Chair and Executive Advisor, JTB Corp said: “We have been making efforts to empower each individual’s diversity as an essential core value of management in order to enhance the evolution of the JTB Group and link the activities of individual employees to business growth since 2006. This WTTC report contains many of the ideas regarding inclusion and diversity that the JTB Group has been promoting.

“I am very pleased that these ideas are being shared with our global tourism industry and business partners through WTTC’s initiative.”

According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism supported one in 10 jobs (330 million total), made a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generated one in four of all new jobs.