The document has suggestions for companies and organisations that work with tourism on how to adopt practices that actually lead to greater diversity and inclusion
The 2022 edition of WTM Latin America is inaugurating an exclusive space for debating topics related to diversity and inclusion. This is the Diversity & Inclusion Theatre, which along with the Travel Tech Theatre and Responsible Tourism Theatre, are part of the pillars of this edition, which will take place between 5 and 7 April at Expo Center Norte, in São Paulo, with the theme ‘The Magic is Back’.
WTM Latin America, which has been consolidating its position in the trade as ‘the pavilion of recovery’, will bring together invited professionals and specialists on the theme who will take to the theatre’s stage to present and highlight global market trends and provoke reflections, with the aim of raising the tourist activity to a more inclusive and diverse level.
This is the Diversity Committee, which was presented less than a month ago and that will launch the ‘WTM Latin America Manifesto for Diversity & Inclusion’ at WTM Latin America 2022, on 5 April between 14:000 and 14:45. The document has suggestions to guide companies and organizations that are active in tourism on how to adopt practices that are effective in leading to more diversity and inclusion. ‘We set up the committee because we wanted to act in an organized and effective way with regard to the subject, and the commitment letter is another step in that direction,’ says Simon Mayle, director of WTM Latin America.
‘This debate must be one that recurs and not guided just by commemorative dates or theme months,’ argues Dr Mariana Aldrigui, a member of the WTM Diversity Committee. The tourism lecturer and researcher at USP explains that appropriating these themes was the premise behind creating the Committee, so much so that the first panel of the event will focus on presenting a commitment letter that has been signed by its seven members.
Mariana adds that tourism cannot yet be considered a diverse sector, despite isolated initiatives in this direction. ‘Women, for example, are in the majority in companies, but they have less decision-making power and are paid less than men in the same functions. This is only talking about gender, when we know that in order to be truly diverse and inclusive, the whole of society needs to be represented in all its various manifestations,’ she explains.
The topic faces countless challenges in Brazil as a hole and its ramifications call for a redoubling of attention. ‘Some groups are treated as minorities when in fact they’re in the majority. The black and brown population, for example, is in the majority in Brazil, but the market still doesn’t see them as consumers, and doesn’t engage in targeted campaigns or actions’, explains Mariana, adding that the programme will address topics such as Afro-tourism, tourism for people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ and senior travellers.
Combating racism in the corporate travel environment and encouraging the hiring of employees who are 60+ are topics with a guaranteed space in the programme schedule, as is the debate of cases related to good practices in ESG. Professionals who develop actions in favour of greater diversity will also take the stage to share their experiences and challenges.
‘There are a lot of obstacles, but we must take action to overcome them. The first step was setting up the committee, followed by delivering the commitment letter and the three afternoons of debates during the WTM Latin America. We’re going to continue studying this topic and presenting viable post-event paths by way of periodic meetings of the group. We’ve a long way to go until our actions become natural and automatic. Sharing knowledge is always good business,’ stresses Simon Mayle.
To find out about the other topics and speakers in the Diversity & Inclusion Theatre, access your programme.
Registration for WTM Latin America 2022 is already open, and entry will be by prior registration only and presentation of proof of full vaccination. All health protocols have been adopted and are available on the site.
About World Travel Market
The World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises the main travel events, online portals and virtual platforms of four continents, and generates more than US$ 7.5 billion in business for the industry.
About WTM Latin America
WTM Latin America takes place annually in São Paulo and attracts around 19,000 tourism professionals during the three-day event. The fair offers qualified content, as well as networking and business opportunities. In its ninth edition – the first fully virtual event was held in 2021 – WTM Latin America has continued to focus on effective business generation and has reached the mark of 4,200 meetings held between buyers, travel agents and exhibitors.
For further information – WTM Latin America
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