When GEC PR’s client Women in Travel CIC decided to run its global International Women in Travel and Tourism Forum event virtually this year, I must admit, I was apprehensive. The inaugural IWTTF that took place in Iceland in January 2020, was an in-person event, and the connections and authentic, frank debating that happened there would, I thought, be difficult to beat. Women and men from 18 countries had hedged their bets against the stormy Icelandic weather to make it there and certainly there was a sense of ‘triumph over adversity’ about getting there. Swapping tales about cancelled flights were conversational icebreakers that helped the bonding process as we discussed diversity, inclusion and our localised and global experiences of those issues.
Multiple new year sign ups to Women in Travel (CIC)’s BAME Corporate Membership scheme is signalling that diversity and inclusion are now taking centre stage in the travel sector in 2021, with dnata Travel Group and The University of Surrey’s School of Hospitality & Tourism Management joining the ranks of Google to continue the education around allyship and tackling diversity issues.