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Social Inclusion

Destinations International believes in the importance of cultivating a tourism industry that represents a wide variety of individuals at every level of our member organizations. We celebrate the broad range of human differences among us, while also embracing the commonalities we all share.

Implementing inclusive practices through a welcoming and belonging lens.

Destinations International's Commitment to Inclusive Travel Experiences


Crafted to highlight the importance of creating a welcoming environment for all, our definition of inclusion celebrates the many backgrounds and abilities that exist in this world, alongside the commonality we all share - to be treated with respect and dignity.

Our Social Inclusion Framework

social inclusion graphic that displays all of the elements that go into social inclusion, as well as "community trust and vitality" and "vibrant economic growth" which are the output of social inclusion efforts.

At first glance, connecting social inclusion with the critical issues that destinations face daily may seem challenging. However, a closer look reveals that inclusion, empathy, and belonging are fundamental to these issues. They form the basis for understanding systemic barriers to progress, building alliances, fostering empathetic communication, and driving sustainable economic growth.

By integrating inclusion into our work, we address various societal topics impacting our community and the economic health of our destination, such as creating safe and welcoming places for everyone. This comprehensive approach highlights the essential role of belonging in all aspects of community life.

How to apply our Social Inclusion framework:

1.    Identify key topics relevant to your destination. 
2.    Explain the importance of these topics to the destination. 
3.    Review the ongoing inclusion-related initiatives. 
4.    Examine the current involvement of underrepresented groups in these topics. 
5.    Explore ways to include or engage underrepresented groups in these topics.

Take a look at an overview of the social inclusion principles. Scroll through the playlist to dive deeper on each of the topics.

Our Working Definition of Inclusion

a group of coworkers of different backgrounds and abilities looking at a computer and smiling

Destinations International is 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. As human beings we can empathize with what it feels like to receive a warm smile, to connect, and to feel like you can safely and responsibly immerse yourself into the intricate fabric of a destination.

Using this mindset, we acknowledge the array of identities that exist in this world and that every person should be valued and treated in an equitable manner. To us, this means we recognize that each person has different life circumstances and abilities, and we will do our best to allocate resources to reach an equal outcome of opportunity and respect for all.

We realize that the world is constantly evolving with many diverse perspectives and identities contributing to this industry. To align with knowledge, we will keep an open mind and acknowledge the mosaic of identities as they arise which includes and is not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity and expression, sexual/romantic attraction, religious affiliation, political belief, dietary selection and preference, mental and physical abilities, neurodiversity, age, thinking styles, body size and appearance, hair texture, socioeconomic status, marital status, parental status, language, spoken accents, and educational levels.

As we recognize the importance of creating equitable opportunities and the diverse identities that make up the world, we strive to break down barriers that prevent people from feeling excluded and to create spaces where people feel included, respected, feel seen, feel heard, feel valued, and feel like they belong.

Our Alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addresses the importance of inclusion and implementing initiatives that create welcoming spaces for people of all backgrounds and abilities. The adoption of social inclusion as stated by the UN can lead to increased innovation and productivity within teams and profitability through an engaged community, diversification of visitors, and increased visitor satisfaction. 

Destinations International aligns with the following SDGs for our social inclusion strategy:

• SDG 5: Gender Equality
• SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
• SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
• SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Social inclusion is crucial for building a more just and cohesive society where everyone has a sense of belonging and is able to reach their full potential. We encourage you to think about the importance of this shift toward social inclusion and the impact it has upon the vitality of your destination or organization.

Do you know all 17 SDGs?

Social Inclusion Tools & Programs

Discover essential tools designed to measure progress toward inclusion goals and empower your organization to demonstrate commitment to fostering diverse and inclusive environments.

Social Impact Assessment Tool

Evaluate workplace dynamics, operations, policies, vendor selection, community engagement, accessibility, board governance, and destination stewardship efforts with precision. Elevate your commitment to inclusion by leveraging a comprehensive tool that guides you through the intricate facets of progress assessment.

Becoming a Community Shared Value

Explore the core values essential for fostering community support through our workbook. Gain valuable insights and create a roadmap tailored to your organization's success. Start your journey today and unlock the potential of community engagement.

Our Inclusion Focused Services

Tailored for members across diverse geographies and budget categories, our services place a strong emphasis on human connection and mental health and wellness. We provide practical strategies for fostering empathy across various perspectives, abilities, and identities. Whether remote or in-person, our listed services and sessions ensure accessibility and flexibility to meet your unique needs.

Social Inclusion Lexicon

Creating welcoming spaces where people feel like they belong is critical to community vitality and sustained economic growth, and we must complement metrics with a compelling narrative that appeals to emotions and core values. 

Social Inclusion Studies

Since 2020, Destinations International has annually looked to document and collect baseline data by directly surveying individuals within its membership to help maintain a snapshot of our workforce examining overall demographics and perceptions on Social Inclusion.

Inclusive Leadership Pledge

group of coworkers smiling, clapping and shaking hands with one another

At our core, we advocate for an inclusive landscape where every individual has equal access to opportunities and growth. Recognizing the pivotal role of industry leaders, we emphasize their commitment to fostering positive change by embracing a vision that opens doors for all. Join us in championing a more inclusive future where leadership is dedicated to breaking barriers and creating avenues for shared success.

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Submit Your Thought Leadership

What is your destination working on regarding social inclusion? Share it with the Destinations International team! Learn how to submit a case study, blog or other piece of content to DI.

Submit to DI