Everybody is a tourist at some point in their lives. Everybody likes to take a vacation. Everybody dreams of getting away from the day to day and traveling to a destination that will soothe their soul.
It’s interesting however that for some members of our society that travel daydreaming comes with having to first investigate destinations where they can either feel comfortable and welcomed or can simply move around freely and be able to access an experience like everyone else.
Sad but often true that all destinations either don’t or can’t accommodate various diverse visitors. The tide is changing, though! The vast majority of destination marketing organizations are acutely aware that they must not only address a diverse (and profitable) segment of the traveling public but also help to educate their destination to embrace diversity … in all its forms.
Here’s a quick snapshot of a few destinations that are speaking directly to a diverse audience and encouraging and welcoming visitation.
An Inclusive Destination
The “PHL Diversity Mission Statement” makes it very clear that Philadelphia is very serious about being an ally to a wide-ranging diverse population. Their website notes that they are a diverse destination for events, meetings and visitors and they specifically mention various cultural groups in their mission statement. They have created “The Brain Box Committee” within their organization that guides their marketing ideas, concepts and practices, have created podcasts on the topic of diversity and provided various resources on their website to address programs etc. There is little doubt that Philadelphia is ‘woke’ on the subject of diversity.
They proudly tell you on their website that they are “the most progressive destination in the United States” for the LGBT+ market and their marketing seems to wrap that statement up in a nice, big rainbow bow. The imagery on the website is big, bright, colorful and truly lures you in for a closer look and to a feeling that this is exactly the place you want to vacation. “Celebrate YOU” is the visual that stands out on the website and offers a clear indication that they are a judgement-free zone.
Accessibility in Travel & Tourism
According to the Amadeus Accessibility Study, people with disabilities represent a $70 billion market in the US and Europe when it comes to the tourism industry. It’s important to note that disabilities are multi-faceted and include conditions that, unlike wheelchair users, are not immediately obvious. New York State Tourism has dedicated an entire section on their website to provide detailed information to travelers with disabilities. Interesting blogs feature roundups of great places for visitors who are Autistic or have developmental disabilities, are deaf or hard of hearing and who need wheelchair accessibility. The site lists hundreds of attractions in the state that can accommodate various disabilities and even offers an “Ally Toolbar” that uses tools that read any page on the website aloud and can customize the appearance of the site.
Bringing the Experience to Everyone
In of the most unique examples of being aware of your diverse visitor, Tennessee Tourism installed the first-ever scenic viewfinders with color vision deficiency technology. People who have never before been able to thoroughly enjoy mother nature’s beauty at work in the autumn season can experience this wonder for the very first time. It is an inspiring, heart-warming and a true visionary effort on the part of Tennessee Tourism.
Take a moment to have a look at this video. Have some tissues handy!
This is just a tiny snapshot of what’s being done in the world of destination marketing to lure a diverse visitor. We’d love to have you show us your effort. Let us know.