Destinations International Amplifies Enterprise-wide Social Inclusion Initiatives and Names Chief Inclusion Officer

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<span>Destinations International Amplifies Enterprise-wide Social Inclusion Initiatives and Names Chief Inclusion Officer</span>

Destinations International Amplifies Enterprise-wide Social Inclusion Initiatives and Names Chief Inclusion Officer

DI Consciously Shifts from EDI to Social Inclusion, Names Sophia Hyder-Hock Chief Inclusion Officer, Connects Social Inclusion Dots for Destination Marketers

Inclusion, Empathy, and Belonging are at the Core of Critical Issues Facing Destinations

Washington, DC (February 28, 2024) Destinations International (DI), the world’s largest membership entity and resource for official destination organizations and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), today announced that it has officially adopted a “shift” from traditional equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) positioning and narratives to a more holistic social inclusion approach to better benefit its membership. The announcement was made during the 2024 DI Marketing & Communications Summit being held February 27-29 in Salt Lake City, Utah where attendees were given a first-hand look at how DI will be integrating social inclusion across all touchpoints of the organization, including a resource hub, marketing tools, and case studies. 

“Destinations International has been deeply committed to creating spaces and places in the travel industry that promote a true sense of welcoming and belonging for people of all backgrounds and abilities,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “Over the last seven years, we have invested significant time and effort in understanding how we can best serve our members by equipping them with the best available resources for such critical issues as inclusion, empathy, and belonging. I am very proud of the work that our team has done, led by our Chief Inclusion Officer Sophia Hyder-Hock, to prepare us for the future.”

In 2017, Destinations International embarked on a strategic approach to advance social inclusion topics across the organization and among its members. From annual inclusion research on member destinations, the creation of the EDI Assessment Tool to help create accountability-focused standards and metrics for the industry, hiring the organization’s chief diversity officer and establishing key inclusion initiatives in 2022, to leading a robust inclusion committee, and hosting yearlong table talk discussions, DI continues to ensure the principles of inclusion are at the forefront for itself and its members.

In 2023, DI partnered with Paradise Advertising & Marketing Inc. (Paradise) as its first agency to help develop a social inclusion brand image and marketing integration efforts. DI also unveiled six core strategic priorities critical to growth, innovation, and creating spaces and places that champion welcoming and belonging along with identifying four of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) to align with DI’s inclusion strategy. In addition to a social inclusion lexicon, DI also recently revised their inclusive leadership pledge for members, launched an Accessibility subcommittee, and updated their Social Impact Assessment Tool (formerly the EDI Assessment Tool) for Destination Organizations. 

“Social Inclusion is being organically integrated throughout all areas of the Destinations International enterprise,” Hyder-Hock said. By weaving inclusion into the fabric of our work, we become active participants in addressing a range of societal topics that affect the economic vitality of our destinations - including the creation of safe and welcoming places, avenues for underrepresented voices to be heard, diversification of the workforce, accessibility, and so many more topics that are included in our new graphic. This holistic approach transcends traditional EDI efforts, underscoring the fundamental importance of belonging in every aspect of community life.”  

DI is making available to members a suite of resources, including a refreshed inclusion website, to benefit any destination or partner, regardless of where they are in their social inclusion journey. No matter the size of the organization, DI has resources to drive tangible business impact. The new website will include the organization’s working definition of inclusion, explain the reason for this shift in greater detail, and how DI is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Users will be able to click on each topic to find dedicated resources designed to support destination organizations with their inclusion efforts. 

“This shift expands on the important work we have been building upon over the past several years by humanizing societal issues that can unlock untapped potential, drive innovation and productivity, and create a more welcoming visitor experience for people of all backgrounds and abilities.,” she added. “We invite you to be curious, to understand how this shift applies to your destination, and to join us in proactively creating spaces where people of all backgrounds and abilities can thrive and feel welcome. “

To view and access Destinations International’s social inclusion resources, click here.

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. For more information, visit

About Paradise Advertising & Marketing, Inc.
At Paradise, we embrace our role as a Partner for Good℠, guiding communities toward a brighter future. Our mission revolves around fostering change through innovative, inclusive, sustainable, and data-led marketing strategies. We believe that by engaging people, we can inspire positive transformations that endure. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, Paradise extends its influence far and wide. Our dynamic team, comprising talented professionals spanning many states across three time zones, is passionate about delivering unparalleled results for clients throughout the country. We take pride in being an active member of prestigious industry organizations, including Destinations International, Destinations Florida, GACVB, PRSA, Visit Florida, and National Diversity Council. For more information about Paradise and the transformative work we do, visit our website at

For more information:
Cris Duschek
Chief Communications Officer & SVP, Public Relations
Paradise Advertising & Marketing, Inc.
[email protected]
Mobile (727) 434-3912