WASHINGTON—The U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Diversity Matters announce a new strategic partnership that will strengthen the association’s focus and support of the industry on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and provide greater access to Tourism Diversity Matters’ subject matter expertise, research, and resources.
Tourism Diversity Matters was founded in 2021 to address blind spots in ethnic disparities within the tourism and events industry while providing these industry leaders with resources and tactics to develop more effective DEI strategies to engage, recruit, and retain a diverse workforce. DEI is a core priority of the U.S. Travel Association, which is committed to having a vital role in affecting lasting change and supporting the development of industry-wide DEI plans.
The partnership will be key to advancing workforce development issues and federal policy initiatives that support travel’s recovery.
“A key goal of Tourism Diversity Matters is to affiliate with industry partners such as U.S. Travel Association to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion solutions that will benefit the tourism and events industry as a whole,” said Greg DeShields, executive director of Tourism Diversity Matters. “We welcome this new partnership and look forward to the positive impact that will come from our work together.”
Tourism Diversity Matters has also partnered with Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management and San Diego State University’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management to conduct academic research and facilitate workforce development.
“U.S. Travel Association has a clear vision: In working closely with Tourism Diversity Matters, we aim to help the travel sector achieve a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive industry for all,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO, U.S. Travel Association and board member, Tourism Diversity Matters. “Aligning with Tourism Diversity Matters is a great step toward this pursuit that will enrich U.S. Travel’s membership for years to come.”
In addition to Dow, Carnival Cruise Line President and U.S. Travel Association National Chair Christine Duffy is also a member of Tourism Diversity Matters’ board of directors, whose board is led by chairman Elliott Ferguson, immediate past chair of U.S. Travel.
“Diversity strengthens organizations by bringing new ideas and perspectives to the forefront,” said Contina Djaouga, vice president of finance, U.S. Travel Association, and head of the association’s internal DEI committee. “Tourism Diversity Matters provides the resources for our industry to take meaningful action to build an inclusive workforce that better represents our country’s diverse population.”