TORONTO — Travellers looking to support BIPOC travel business owners on their vacations now have a team of travel consultants who can point them in the right direction.
Flight Centre Travel Group’s leisure travel brands, Flight Centre in Canada and Liberty Travel in the U.S., have added a ‘BIPOC-Owned’ collection to their internal booking systems.
The move also comes with external marketing campaigns to highlight travel experiences owned by members of the Indigenous Travel Association of Canada, National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers (NABHOOD), American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), Latin American Travel Association, Red Indigena de Turismo de Mexico, and the Pacific Asia Travel Association.
“Our goal is to make it easier for both our customers and our travel consultants to find and book BIPOC-owned travel experiences,” says Marc Casto, President Leisure Americas for the Flight Centre Travel Group. “Flight Centre Travel Group is proud to partner with travel businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, Afro-Caribbean, African American, and other People of Colour throughout the Americas.” says Casto.
He adds that the initiative helps to improve awareness and support for BIPOC-owned enterprises, “especially considering the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Uplifting locally owned and historically marginalized travel businesses is especially crucial as we work together to rebuild a better, more inclusive tourism industry.”
Diversity Equity & Inclusion Manager for FCTG Americas, Emese Graham points out that BIPOC travellers and travel business owners alike face a unique set of challenges today as a result of systemic racism.
“The tourism industry has not always paid attention to people of colour. Over the last two years or so, we’ve seen a much-needed push for more diverse representation in marketing, but it’s even more important to improve travel supplier diversity. Our teams at FCTG recognize the opportunity we have as a major global player to help reshape the world of travel into something more equitable and inclusive,” says Graham.