Inclusivity and Diversity is Central to Sustainable Travel
The Long Run believes that responsible travel is underpinned by a longing to explore, understand, connect, and seek inspiration from different races, ethnic groups, cultures, genders, and viewpoints. Travel, therefore, has an enormous opportunity to foster greater tolerance, connection, and understanding. For this to be achieved, the industry has to be inclusive and represent diverse voices.
We also believe that social justice, inclusion, and racial equality is central to combating the climate and biodiversity crisis. People and the environment are intricately linked; we cannot halt the climate crisis or achieve wide-spread conservation without sustainable solutions that support, connect, and empower people of all genders, beliefs, and races. Any organisation, business, or individual seeking to halt the climate crisis must actively promote and support inclusivity and diversity within the conservation and sustainability agenda. We must also amplify local and underrepresented voices.
Since George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by U.S. police on 25th May, Black Lives Matter protests have swept across the world. The movement is a beacon of hope as governments, companies, and individuals reflect on the role they play consciously or unconsciously in racial discrimination and injustice, and seek solutions.
As an organisation that drives environmental and social betterment via tourism, we strive to be part of the change. We welcome open and honest discussions to identify ingrained bias and blind spots, and the opportunity to take stock and further promote diversity and inclusion at every level of the travel supply chain. We want to help and encourage our members and partners to do the same.
Delphine Malleret King, Director of The Long Run, comments, “It’s important that we go beyond reflecting greater diversity—where it can become token—and aspire for change on a deeper level in how we address prejudices, challenge them, and create truly inclusive opportunities in everything we do.”
Most importantly, we want to turn words into action, so here is our initial plan:
Be the change: We will explore how we can play a more active role in encouraging fairer representation within the conservation, sustainability and travel sectors. We will continue to check and challenge any unconscious and conscious discrimination we come across in our daily work. We will talk openly and continuously about how we as a team and organisation can be more inclusive and better promote diversity.
Listen and challenge: We will take a more active role in listening to, challenging, and providing solutions to our members so that they continue being part of, if not leaders in, a more diverse, inclusive, and equal travel industry. We will scrutinise our 4C—conservation, community, culture and commerce—framework to ensure that it adequately supports anti-racism, diversity, and equality. In this work, we will provide tools to and invite our members to reflect and better consider inclusion and equality in every aspect of the travel supply chain including sales, communications, guest experience, employees, partners, and suppliers.
Connect and collaborate: We will seek more partners and connections that promote and reflect diversity within travel, sustainability and conservation and help support our community to push for greater inclusivity.
Review the 4C framework: We will review our 4C framework to ensure that racial equality and diversity are fully addressed. The Long Run’s 4C framework advocates for the protection and betterment of people and the environment and recognises that you cannot have one without the other. Within this framework, we ensure that members consider diversity throughout every level of their operations and communications, but there is always room for improvement.
Seek continual improvement: We will continue this conversation and remain open to criticism and advice so that we can continually improve and strive for better racial equality, inclusion, and diversity within tourism, conservation, and sustainability.
Resources, inspiration, and further reading:
- Black Travel Alliance (https://www.blacktravelalliance.com)
- Intersectional Environmentalist (https://www.intersectionalenvironmentalist.com)
- Why the Travel Industry Needs to Address its own Diversity (https://www.cntraveller.com/article/why-travel-industry-needs-to-address-diversity)
- How to reverse the ‘colonial gaze’ when you travel (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/comment/colonial-gaze-travel/)
- How the Travel Industry can do its Part in the Fight Against Racism (https://www.travelpulse.com/news/features/how-the-travel-industry-can-do-its-part-in-the-fight-against-racism.html)
- Racism Derails Our Efforts to Tackle the Climate Crisis (https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/06/03/im-black-climate-scientist-racism-derails-our-efforts-save-planet/)
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Lapa Rios and Pacuare owners and avid conservationists Luz Caceres and Roberto Fernandez recently p...