Understanding and exploring new cultures, meeting new people, venturing into the unknown and the uncomfortable, travel at its core embodies the ideology of inclusivity. But if the spirit of travel itself celebrates diversity and inclusivity, why doesn’t the industry reflect this? Without diverse narratives, we are losing out on unique and important perspectives. There is no one-size-fits all when it comes to travel, and for many people, race, religion, sexuality and disability can be important considerations when exploring new destinations.
As the conversation around inclusivity grows, the lack of representation within the travel industry is becoming increasingly apparent. Highlighted below are important voices that are amplifying the unique perspectives that make up the multifaceted travel industry and community.
In June 2020, the Black Travel Alliance was created, a community of Black Travel Content Creators who aim to fight for representation in the travel industry from hotel employment to destination marketing content and to amplify the voices of Black content creators. The group created the #pullupfortravel campaign asking brands and organizations to reveal diversity scorecards via social media.
In the UK, Women in Travel CIC and their new offshoot BAME Women in Travel provides mentorship and initiatives to women employed and involved in the travel and tourism industry.
Inspirational travel bloggers are using their platforms to make travellers from all walks of life feel seen and heard; Wheelie Wanderlust for wheelchair users; How to Not Travel Like a Basic Bitch; Queer in the World; Muslimahs Who Travel; the Black Girls Dive Foundation and Ski Bums for LGBTQ+ skiers and snowboarders are only a few of the many voices for underrepresented globetrotters.
Many companies and organizations have begun creating inclusive experiences for underrepresented groups as well. Travel Eyes organizes trips for blind and partially sighted travellers; Dr Kiona of How to Not Travel Like a Basic Bitch teamed up with Fat Girls Traveling to provide LGBTQ+ and body-positive trips; No Limits Tours for disabled people with a passion for adventure.
These organizations and creators are jump-starting an important conversation surrounding inclusivity within the travel industry. But it is important for the travel community to not only highlight and amplify these voices but to also encourage and demand more inclusivity from the industry and community that we love.