The 2022 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Study on Destination Organizations, published by Destinations International, the world’s largest resource for official destination organisations and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), outlines the business case for diversity and provides data, insights, and opportunities for destination organisations. The research can be found here.
“Destinations International continues to be committed to transforming destination communities through thought leadership, best practises and tools based on EDI standards and principles,” stated Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “In 2017, Destinations International made the decision to prioritize equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) as a strategic goal for the association and we have come a long way in five years. To continue to develop and advance strategies to achieve this vision, it is critical to continue to benchmark data from members and track and measure progress on behalf of the destination marketing and management industry.”
“Our latest study demonstrates some of the great work our destination organizations have done in the field of EDI since 2020,” said Sophia Hyder Hock, chief diversity officer at Destinations International. “We fully acknowledge that there is still work to be done but it’s important to reflect on the small ripples of change today, which hopefully lead to waves of systematic change for our future.”
Destinations International has announced a number of measures to support their commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, including:
July 2018: Hosted the organization’s inaugural Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion meeting at Destinations International’s Annual Convention in Anaheim, California.
August 2018: Announced a call to members to form the first Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force.
December 2018: Hosted a chat with key industry experts from the association and CVB communities to brainstorm potential solutions for cultivating a welcome atmosphere for meeting and event attendees in cooperation with Association Forum.
February 2019: The association launched its first study to compile a snapshot of racial and workforce diversity by assessing the demographics of the board of directors, senior staff, general governance, and policy.
March 2019: Convened a Meetings & Conventions Leaders Roundtable in conjunction with the Philadelphia CVB/PHL Diversity to educate industry leaders through the process of building a common vocabulary and vision for diversity and inclusion within the meetings and convention industries.
July 2019 – April 2020: Work on implementing EDI educational opportunities throughout all major events, including the Annual Convention and discipline-focused summits, continues throughout 2019 and into 2020.
July 2020: Announced the first memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals, published a guide for destination organisations on Board Diversity best practises, and formally established the EDI Task Force as a standing committee under Destinations International’s bylaws.
August 2020: Begin collecting demographic data from Destinations International members via a survey.
November 2020: The first EDI Study on Destination Organizations was released, investigating the overall demographics and impressions of EDI among member destination organisations.
December 2020: Launched the EDI CEO Leadership promise, encouraging leaders to be more aligned and committed to implementing practical plans to advance a shared vision for change.
January 2021: Destinations International released its inaugural EDI Strategy Roadmap in January 2021 with the purpose of leading and engaging strategic planning and programmatic development activities and opportunities to create systemic social change for the benefit of our members’ communities.
February – December 2021: Launched EDI Masterclass series in collaboration with The Ladipo Group, focusing on emotional intelligence, effective communication, microaggressions, unconscious bias, and allyship for executive leadership.
22 February 2022: Sophia Hyder Hock joins Destinations International as chief diversity officer to oversee the association’s EDI activities.
“Continuing to measure EDI within destination organizations is critical for the industry,” said Melissa Cherry, chief diversity and inclusion officer/SVP at Miles Partnership and member of Destinations International’s EDI Committee. “Not only are we able to celebrate progress and growth, but we can also continue to maintain a snapshot of overall workforce demographics and perceptions on EDI to track organizational commitment to implementing EDI strategies internally, as well as within their local hospitality communities.”