World Travel Market speaks out for equality and diversity


Building on six years of partnership, World Travel Market and Women in Travel are hosting a series of webinars and blogs on race, allyship, risk and diversity in the travel industry.

Women in Travel (CIC) is a social enterprise which aims to empower women through employability and entrepreneurships. Founded by Alessandro Alonso, it launched the first ‘Women in Travel Meetup’ at World Travel Market in 2014 and the partnership has since grown to include debating panels, networking opportunities and mentoring sessions with inspirational women entrepreneurs.

This year’s programme kicked off with the first BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) Women in Travel virtual panel discussion on Thursday, 10 September. Called Allyship: The driving force for diversity and inclusion in the travel industry the panel was hosted by Executive Director of BAME Women In Travel, Jamie-Lee Abtar. Over 200 people viewed the webinar in which the panellists discussed how the majority must help, support and advocate for the minority. Carolyn Crouch, Founder of Washington Walks, described it as “the best panel discussion I have listened to during the pandemic post-George Floyd.” It is still available on demand on the WTM Global Hub.

Women in Travel and WTM are also partnering on two virtual webinars during London Travel Week Virtual (30 October-5 November) and WTM Virtual (9-11 November):  Diversifying Travel Marketing: How can brands connect with an increasingly diverse consumer market? and Through a Diversity Gaze: How Travel Risk Is Changing In the Covid19 EraAnd they will be offering live virtual mentoring sessions to foster support for women and help develop their entrepreneurial and employment goals and perspectives.

A wider discussion around Racism in Tourism will take place in WTM’s Virtual Responsible Tourism Theatre on Wednesday November 11th. The panel will discuss the ways in which racism affects the travel sector through employment practices, product design, marketing and promotion in the source markets, and through host-guest interactions in destinations. It will also ask ‘how can we best take responsibility to address this?’