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How the conversation around diversity in travel is growing

Written by Travel Adventures


With plenty of borders still closed and countries only slowly coming out of lockdown, it has taken a global pandemic to make many grounded globetrotters appreciate the freedom to explore they once took for granted. For a number of travellers, however, that freedom, even pre-coronavirus, never came without considerations – whether physical limitations, race, religion or sexuality. But the conversation around diversity in travel is growing, with voices amplifying every community and intersection, from African American scuba divers (the Black Girls Dive Foundation) to British BME hikers (Boots & Beards); halal restaurant lovers (Halal Food Guy) and queer skiers (Ski Bums) to roving wheelchair users (Wheelie Wanderlust) to name a few.

A band of forward-thinking companies and creators are offering more inclusive experiences, too. Traveleyes pairs up blind and sighted people on journeys to the Galápagos Islands and along the Silk Road. Dr Kiona, of hit Instagram account How Not to Travel Like a Basic Bitch, has partnered with drag queen Pattie Gonia and Fat Girls Traveling founder Annette Richmond for LGBTQ+ and body-positive trips to Cuba, and Nomadness Travel Tribe unites adventurers of colour on itineraries across the globe.

Even for people who are not part of these circles, it opens up a dialogue, educating and offering alternative perspectives. Left paralysed from the chest down as a teenager after a car accident, British TV presenter Sophie Morgan advocates for better representation. ‘Globally, one in five of us has some form of impairment. Although many don’t want to be labelled disabled, almost all of us at one time will need to have specific needs met,’ she says. Anyone can be an agent for change. ‘Call out those who are failing to be inclusive and celebrate those who have earned it.’

California-based Martinique Lewis, a diversity-in-travel consultant who has spoken at London’s World Travel Market, is also spreading the message that every person matters, advising and connecting brands with figures such as visually impaired campaigner Sassy Wyatt or Kareemah Ashiru, behind the blog Hijabi Globetrotter. As Lewis says, ‘Diversity and inclusion are not buzzwords, they are calls to action.’

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