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Top 5 Takeaways from TTG Fairer Travel Week

Last week TTG Media held "Fairer Travel Week" in London, an entire week dedicated to championing sustainability and diversity, and inclusion within travel. New hertelier correspondent, Nelma Neto, checked it out and reports.

Chantal Potgieter, the founder of Themba Travel, takes a selfie with Thomas Power, CEO, Pura Adventura in the center is Nelma Neto with travel writer Elisa Spampinato and Daniel Pearce, CEO, TTG Media

The TTG Fairer Travel Week was great with so many people to learn from! On the first day was an event celebrating Pride, the second was an online Sustainable Travel Showcase and the final two days are what I attended, a Sustainability Forum and a Diversity Forum. Here are my top takeaways.

Sustainability Forum

Many tourism professionals, business owners, and travel writers came together to discuss the myriad of topics related to sustainability.

The biggest point was to share the message to people that sustainability should be used as an opportunity and as a force for positive changes. The aim should not be to "fix all the problems", as this would not be possible but it is very important for everyone to "get started" and take action.

In the afternoon, participants joined workshop groups of their choice. The workshop I attended was hosted by journalist and sustainability expert, Holly Tuppen, who discussed The Long Run's holistic sustainability model–– the 4Cs.

  • conservation

  • community

  • culture

  • commerce

Any company that genuinely wants to follow the path towards a more sustainable business needs to take the 4C's into consideration.

Questions to think about:

  • Community-Communities play a big role in the travel and tourism industry, they are the true treasure of the industry therefore questions to ask ourselves as tourism professionals/business owners should be 'Are we listening to the needs of our communities?', 'Are we working together with communities rather than against them'?

  • Conservation/Culture-Tourism uses many natural resources. 'Are these being conserved in the right way?' Rather than adapting products and services to satisfy every tourist- is there any other way to embody the local culture/traditions into the products and services being offered? An interesting discussion emerged from this point, many actually dislike the fact that most hotels always serve the regular "English breakfast" to satisfy the tourist and nothing traditional but this could also come from the fact that visitors are not well-educated enough in terms of sustainability/ importance of culture/identity/ local communities.

Next steps––if your hotel is not doing this already, look into your local CVB or other organizations and associations that are working towards the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, where the goals are cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by the year 2030 and achieving ‘Net Zero’ before 2050.

Diversity Forum

Full of people from different backgrounds, also working in various sectors of travel and tourism.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) needs to take place all year-round. It can't be done by 'rainbowashing' for a short period of time.

Companies need to think of their employees and start to make the changes internally first, ensuring that employees feel safe and included in the work environment.
  • DEI needs to include the disabled. Companies cannot forget the people with disabilities when having conversations about diversity and inclusion. One of the panelists, Angus Drummond, shared his story of how he built his company, Limitless Travel as a disabled individual with a passion for travel with the specific aim to help and build more awareness for the disabled community. Angus said that even if companies do not know how to help this specific type of customer, they should be open to listening to them and try to think of solutions because he believes that at the end of the day "a good disability service, is a good customer service".

  • The Forgotten T––transgender travelers. Melissa Tilling, owner of Charitable Travel also shared her journey and said that it is important to build an inclusive environment for everyone and look at ways in which we can cater to new markets, including people that identify as transgender, which are part of the LGBTQ community but in many cases don't get much attention.

  • Effective DEI will Help with the Labor Shortage Alessandra Alonso and Jamie Lee Abtar from Women in Travel CIC highlighted points discussed at IWTTF such as creating more awareness the variety of jobs are available, making job requirements more flexible, opening opportunities to everyone as most of them may not have experience in the industry yet but will have transferable skills that can be used.

Final thought, it is good for everyone in travel to participate in forums from other industries instead of limiting ourselves only to tourism forums because there is so much that can be learned from other businesses and applied to our industry.


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