Successful Partnership Strengthens Diversity and Inclusion in Tourism

We would like to thank everyone who participated in our LGBT+ diversity and inclusion training programs over the past 18 months. Thank you for fostering inclusion and understanding and for developing LGBT+ safe spaces across the country.

This national project was funded by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) through the six Regional Development Agencies, delivered in a partnership between Tourism HR Canada and Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC). The project was an incredible success and contained five core learning opportunities:

Navigating LGBT+ Diversity and Inclusion in the Tourism Industry: This live, facilitated, and interactive workshop introduced participants to the basics of an LGBT+ inclusive vocabulary, space, and workplace. We delivered 81 workshops for free across Canada, with over 800 participants attending.

Feedback was incredibly positive, including such comments as, “So rarely is this much value provided in an online course, let alone a free one! I was engaged the whole time and truly learned valuable tools to assist me on my corporate & personal D&I [diversity and inclusion] journey. Thank you!”

Travel Market-Ready Seminars: This seminar shared exclusive LGBT+ travel market research and case study best practices from around the world, as well as exposing participants to several custom LGBT+ products to help inspire a LGBT+ tourism welcoming strategy. We delivered 41 seminars for free across Canada, with over 360 participants attending.

Destination Audits: This program assessed a destination’s strengths and areas for improvement in LGBT+ travel market-readiness and tourism strategies. A final recommendation report delivered to participating destinations serves as a benchmarking tool to continue to assess and elevate their LGBT+ travel market strategy. We delivered 15 destination audits across Canada for free.

Tourism Toolkit: To further assist participants with becoming more inclusive and welcoming of LGBT+ travellers, we created and distributed 11 new downloadable resources. Topics included:

  • Developing LGBT+ Products and Tours
  • Inclusive Procurement Guidelines
  • Trans and Non-Binary Inclusion Resource Guide
  • Hosting LGBT+ Inclusive Events
  • Community Engagement Guide
  • Marketing to the LGBT+ Community
  • LGBT+ Inclusive Policies and Practices
  • Starting an Employee Resource Group
  • Allyship Resource Guide
  • LGBT+ Inclusion Guide
  • Business Case for LGBT+ Inclusion

Rainbow Registered Accreditation Program: A new CGLCC accreditation program was developed, aimed at recognizing businesses and organizations who meet rigorous standards that ensure LGBT+ customers and staff feel safe and included. This new CGLCC program will be launched in spring of 2021—stay tuned!

COVID-19 has shone a light on where inclusion, acceptance, and appreciation can be improved.

We understand this may feel like a strange time to prioritize a program like this, when so much has changed in the face of COVID-19. We believe the pandemic has shone a light on areas where there are still divisions and where inclusion, acceptance, and the appreciation of different talents and experiences could be improved.

These programs are important in ensuring the tourism industry comes back even stronger and more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse post-COVID. Your participation was an indicator that we are making diversity, inclusivity, and safety a focus for times ahead.

For more information on these programs moving forward, please visit CGLCC’s website.

Sincerely,

Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada
Darrell Schuurman, Co-Founder and CEO of Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce