> Inclusivity remains both a ‘core strength’ and ‘formidable challenge’ for travel industry

Inclusivity remains both a ‘core strength’ and ‘formidable challenge’ for travel industry

A new report from World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has highlighted that inclusivity remains both a core strength and formidable challenge for the travel industry, according to HospitableMe partner and head of education Kenny Porpora.

The WTTC report, ‘Creating Belonging: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging in Travel & Tourism’ has been completed in collaboration with HospitableMe and also supported by AIG Travel.

Drawing on data from six economies, Rwanda, Australia, United States, United Kingdom, South Africa and the European Union, the report offers a deep dive on metrics such as gender, age, sexual orientation, disability status, and educational skills aiming to equip both the public and private sector with the tools they need to spark change and make Travel & Tourism more diverse & inclusive.

Travel & Tourism has always supported people from all walks of life, employing the highest share of workers with lower levels of formal education across the EU, UK and the US, compared to the overall economy.

The report also includes a comprehensive survey of WTTC Members, offering a detailed view of the DEIB landscape across the sector, providing best practice examples for areas such as recruitment, education and training, and benefits, amongst others.

WTTC draws from the findings to offer opportunities for the challenges faced by the sector, such as education on DEIB and senior leadership support, recruitment process, and benchmarking and research.

A majority of the companies analysed (60%) had dedicated personnel to their DEIB efforts, making clear this is a pressing topic all Travel & Tourism stakeholders should pay close attention to, to ensure the term “hospitality” equals “partnership”.

According to the global tourism body, the share of female workers in Travel & Tourism was highest in Australia, at 54%, followed by the U.S. (48%), higher than the overall average.

In terms of youth employment, the sector has always been considered a key employer for those aged under 25 years. This research shows the US saw 26% of youth employees in the sector, more than twice the share of the total economy average (12%), with Australia (26%) and Rwanda (24%) following closely.

Last year, according to this new study, UK’s Travel & Tourism employed a higher share of LGBTQ+ employees (5.2%) than the overall economy (4%), with a near 2.7 percentage points increase since 2011.

Workers with a disability status made up nearly 17% of the UK’s Travel & Tourism workforce, while in the U.S. sector, they represented nearly 5%, both marginally higher than the overall economy (16.6% and 4.4%, respectively).

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