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This issue’s cover story, “A New Way Forward," examines one of the most important topics in the travel industry and beyond. Even as more companies commit to finally addressing racial inequities within their organizations, there are still plenty of questions about the best way to achieve greater diversity and inclusion.
A recent survey of nearly 300 travel advisors conducted by TravelAge West shows that there is a long way to go before we reach a consensus on this issue. Only 47% of respondents believe the travel industry should take action to increase diversity, compared to 25% who disagree and 29% who say they do not know if it’s necessary. In addition, nearly half (49%) of respondents report that their agency does not take any specific steps to recruit more BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) advisors.
Making our industry more inclusive — which, in part, means providing opportunities for a wider range of people at all professional levels — will not happen on its own. Equity takes effort.
One step that can help the discussion is increasing the dialogue between parties. As one Black supplier rep told me recently, “Advisors might see me at conference or event and think there’s no problem. When, in fact, I might be the only Black person out of hundreds in attendance. Or they may not understand that the Black attendees there may face significant obstacles that others don’t have to deal with. Nobody really talks about any of that.”
The responsibility for enacting change falls on all of us in the industry, including our publication. Along these lines, Northstar Travel Group, the parent company of TravelAge West, recently convened a Black Travel Advisory Board made up of a range of industry experts to help our company address issues such as recruitment, event participation, content creation and more.
Making our industry more inclusive — which, in part, means providing opportunities for a wider range of people at all professional levels — will not happen on its own. Equity takes effort. Use this time to examine what you can do to break down the barriers to success for all people, and the benefits of inclusion will be yours.