Destinations International Announces Equity, Diversity and Inclusion CEO Pledge for Destination Organizations


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Destinations International Announces Equity, Diversity and Inclusion CEO Pledge for Destination Organizations

Washington, D.C. (December 16, 2020) – Destinations International, the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards, today announced its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion CEO Pledge for destination organizations. The announcement was made at the association’s virtual CEO Summit.

Destinations International is committed to transforming destination communities through thought leadership, best practices and tool-based initiatives on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion principles so their destinations are true reflections of their communities.

In November 2020, the association released the 2020 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Study on Destination Organizations. With the study’s findings, Destinations International committed to implementing an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy in 2021. The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion CEO Pledge is the first step for the association’s members to make a commitment to cultivating diversity and inclusion within their communities and workforces.

“Since implementing equity, diversity and inclusion as a strategic goal for the association in 2017, Destinations International has been working to lead and engage diversity initiatives and opportunities within our industry,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Destinations International. “The CEO Pledge is a critical next step for our industry’s leadership and their commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion on behalf of their organizations. Committing to the pledge will allow them to remain competitive, enhance workforce development, drive innovation and be relevant in the years ahead.”

Throughout 2021 and beyond, Destinations International will be encouraging its members to sign up and commit to this pledge. The list of CEOs/Executive Directors will be posted on the CEO Pledge website. Destinations International will also be offering several opportunities for CEOs and executive leaders to activate the pledge, including an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion CEO Masterclass. More information will be released in 2021.

The Destinations International Equity, Diversity and Inclusion CEO Pledge:

We celebrate the broad range of human differences among us, while also embracing the commonalities we all share. We firmly stand by our belief that all industries should be open to everyone for opportunities and growth and that it is critical for destination organization CEOs and executive leaders to commit to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to drive a vision for change and be accountable for implementing that change.

We commit to the following:

  1. We will build and sustain an equitable, diverse and inclusive workforce, led by executive leadership and our boardrooms. We recognize how critical inclusivity is to bring together a wide variety of voices when promoting tourism and sustaining our economies. Growing an inclusive and equitable workforce reflects the level of diversity we wish to welcome to our destinations. It will foster innovation and provide space for historically marginalized voices to positively evolve how we promote tourism and authentically welcome all travelers. 

  1. We will collectively share best practices for growing equity, diversity and inclusion industry-wide, and we will hold one another accountable for measuring action and progress. We are part of a highly collaborative and engaged community that leverages the benefits of cooperative learning and shared growth. From understanding the role that unconscious bias plays in preventing equity to actively working towards dismantling systems of power and privilege, we are committed to having open, honest conversations, while holding each other accountable for bringing about an inclusive and equitable industry. That includes sharing knowledge for building an EDI educational curriculum and engaging the expertise of diversity and inclusion professionals.

  1. We will share the lived experiences of marginalized and underrepresented communities that are disproportionately unseen in tourism marketing and storytelling. We firmly believe in the transformative power of travel, and we are dedicated to including who the industry has historically ignored. Our goal is to push towards inclusive and equitable marketing practices that prioritize partnerships with underrepresented populations, implement marketing practices that are representative of the communities we promote, advocate for sustainability, and honors the history of the ancestral lands we welcome travelers to explore. We see these as foundational to authentic representation and inclusion.

  1. We will support actions in our communities that seek to achieve equity and justice for everyone, including travelers, stakeholders and citizens alike. We are deeply connected to the communities that make up our destinations, and we are committed to nurturing broader cultural and institutional changes that help shape and reimagine what equity and justice look like. This is imperative to improve our ability to foster a welcoming environment within our destinations for visitors, support our local businesses to purchase goods and services from diverse vendors, and, most of all, stay dedicated to demonstrating how our industry can enrich the lives of those living in our destinations.

  1. I am personally invested and committed to equity, diversity and inclusion.
    I acknowledge my role as a fundamental change-maker in defining success for equity, diversity and inclusion. I am fully aware that I must commit to doing the work first before asking the same of others. Therefore, I pledge to focus on my own personal growth around understanding how systemic oppression, social injustice and economic disparity hinder equality. I will invest in broadening my self-awareness of these issues through education, training, and peer networking to have these tough, but critical, conversations.

For more information, please visit the Destinations International Equity, Diversity and Inclusion webpage.


About Destinations International:
Destinations International is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. Destinations International is about serving destination marketing professionals first and foremost. Together with almost 6,000 members and partners from nearly 600 destinations in approximately 13 countries, Destinations International represents a powerful forward-thinking, collaborative association; exchanging bold ideas, connecting innovative people and elevating tourism to its highest potential. For more information, visit