For weeks now, people of all ages, genders, races, income brackets, and political affiliations have been protesting the murder of George Floyd. They aren’t just protesting what happened to one man of course; at the core, these protests are about systemic inequities within the United States and elsewhere around the world that make it possible for a group of people to be treated differently (and worse) than another.
If you know me personally and have spoken to me about these issues recently, you know where I stand. I don’t often bring up sensitive topics on my business platforms, but there comes a point when silence becomes compliance, and I cannot allow my silence to be construed in that manner any longer.
I have struggled to find the right words to say… Every one of us has friends and family members who have different opinions on what is happening in our country; we have people in our lives who will misconstrue our words and view a statement like black lives matter as white lives don’t, or they will interpret our support for social justice movements as an acceptance of the violence that has accompanied some of the protests.
I cannot control these reactions, but allow me to unequivocally state this: Black lives matter. If this statement sparks something in you and you want to talk about it, I welcome your comments below.
Diversity in the Travel Industry
Although there is so much more that can and should be said on what has been happening in the past few weeks, I want to turn your attention to the title of this post: Diversity in the Travel Industry. Diversity is not confined to the color of our skin, though this is a familiar place to start. Diversity ranges from race and ethnicity to gender, from sexual orientation to socioeconomic status, from religion to physical mobility. It can encompass just about every facet of our lives as members of the human race.
As members of the travel community, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves on issues of diversity and inclusion. If we claim to support sustainability, if we claim to love learning about other cultures, if we call ourselves global citizens, then we must listen to diverse voices and take action to uplift them when they are being silenced and mistreated.
Clearly, this is far too large a topic to cover with any real depth in the space of a few hundred words. Instead of attempting an undertaking like that, I’m linking to where you can find information on racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual diversity in the travel industry and begin (or continue) your self-education journey.
Racial Diversity in the Travel Industry
How the Travel Industry Can Do Its Part in the Fight Against Racism
Black Travel Advisors on Representation in the Travel Agent Industry
Race Ahead: The Travel Industry’s Diversity Problem
Travel Noire - Boutique travel company specializing in media for “explorers of color”
Black Lives Matter Resources Directory
Gender and Sexual Diversity in the Travel Industry
Phocuswire & Expedia 2020 Report: Gender Diversity in the Travel Industry
Travel Pulse State of Gender Equality in the Travel Industry
UNWTO Global Report on Women in Tourism
TSA guide for transgender passengers
UNWTO Second Global Report on LGBT Tourism
24th Annual LGBTQ Tourism & Hospitality Survey
*I’ve chosen to focus on these areas of diversity and inclusion because of the current racial tensions and because June is Pride month in the United States. Please note that although these are enormous topics (and I’m barely scratching the surface of them), they are still only parts of the entire diversity and inclusion conversation.
Once again, I welcome your feedback and I’m happy to have a respectful conversation about diversity in the travel industry and beyond.
Author: Debra Harris
As founder of Life’s Journey Travel, I’m deeply passionate about creating custom travel experiences that allow my clients to truly savor the journey.