WTTC Releases Diversity Guidelines to Aid Travel and Tourism

LONDON—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.

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.

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 organizations, including Travel Unity, a nonprofit organization focused on increasing diversity in the world of travel, along with major associations from other key sectors.

The guidelines are divided into four pillars:

  • Developing a Supportive System
  • Creating Safe Spaces
  • Supporting an Agile System
  • 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 organizational values and in all aspects of the business. Celebrate commitment to diversity and inclusion, provide frameworks to guide behavior/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 organization 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 recognize 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

“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,” said Gloria Guevara, president/CEO, WTTC. “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.”

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