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WTTC first-of-a-kind report reveals DEIB efforts in Travel & Tourism

WTTC first-of-a-kind report reveals DEIB efforts in Travel & Tourism

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled its first-ever global Travel & Tourism report focussing on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) during its Global Summit, taking place in Kigali.
The report “Creating Belonging: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging in Travel & Tourism” is the result of a collaboration between WTTC and HospitableMe, a global leader in inclusive hospitality.

Supported by AIG Travel, the report offers data around Travel & Tourism employment, aiming to equip both the public and private sector the tools they need to spark change and make Travel & Tourism more diverse & inclusive.

Drawing on data from six economies, Rwanda, Australia, U.S., UK, South Africa and the EU, it offers a deep dive on metrics such as gender, age, sexual orientation, disability status, and educational skills.

According to the global tourism body, the share of female workers in Travel & Tourism was highest in Australia, at 54%, followed by the U.S. (48%), higher than the overall average.

In terms of youth employment, the sector has always been considered a key employer for those aged under 25 years.

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This research shows the U.S. saw 26% of youth employees in the sector, more than twice the share of the total economy average (12%), with Australia (26%) and Rwanda (24%) following closely.

Last year, according to this new study, UK’s Travel & Tourism employed a higher share of LGBTQ+ employees (5.2%) than the overall economy (4%), with a near 2.7 percentage points increase since 2011.

Workers with a disability status made up nearly 17% of the UK’s Travel & Tourism workforce, while in the U.S. sector, they represented nearly 5%, both marginally higher than the overall economy (16.6% and 4.4%, respectively).

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Travel & Tourism has always been a people sector, whatever their background. Hospitality goes beyond travellers; it is about how we welcome and care for our colleagues and employees.

“Our sector has come a long way. Across the board, we are seeing efforts and changes led by major Travel & Tourism businesses, who are now paying more attention to creating a sense of belonging, supporting their employees, regardless of who they are or where they come from.”

Kenny Porpora, HospitableMe Partner and Head of Education, said: “This first of its kind survey shows the tourism sector’s commitment to building a more inclusive world through travel.

“The insights we’ve gained through this survey make it clear that inclusivity remains both a core strength and formidable challenge for the travel industry. We are here to extend our hand to industry leaders, urging them to harness these findings and join us on a transformative journey. Together, we can shape a future where every traveller, employee, and stakeholder feel genuinely seen, valued, and welcomed.”

Travel & Tourism supports people from all walks of life, employing the highest share of workers with lower levels of formal education across the EU, UK and the U.S, compared to the overall economy.

The report also included a comprehensive survey of WTTC Members, offering a detailed view of the DEIB landscape across the sector, providing best practice examples for areas such as recruitment, education and training, and benefits, amongst others.

WTTC draws from the findings to offer opportunities for the challenges faced by the sector, such as education on DEIB and senior leadership support, recruitment process, and benchmarking and research.

A majority of the companies analysed (60%) had dedicated personnel to their DEIB efforts, making clear this is a pressing topic all Travel & Tourism stakeholders should pay close attention to, to ensure the term “hospitality” equals “partnership”.

To access this report, please visit WTTC Research Hub. https://researchhub.wttc.org/