For the first time this year – and in line with our brand values – we asked our readers a set of ‘diversity and inclusion’ based questions. What we learnt shocked us, but didn’t surprise us.
73% of respondents did not feel that luxury travel marketing is inclusive of today’s diverse traveller demographic, predominantly feeling that visual communications in the industry are not representative of them or today’s luxury traveller; nor did they feel that travel brands proactively target, market and promote directly to diverse community groups.
66% of respondents did not feel that luxury travel providers provide products and services that are tailored to the needs of a diverse traveller demographic.
62% of respondents did not feel that those employed by luxury travel providers are adequately trained to be sensitive to the needs of a diverse traveller demographic.
57% of respondents did not feel that travel providers are transparent about their diversity policies when it comes to non-discrimination or a diverse and socially conscious supply chain.
OutThere travellers are this year, proactively looking to destinations and travel brands that can outwardly demonstrate inclusivity in their outlook, good social responsibility and ones that value diversity and difference.
Over the last few years, we have seen a rapidly growing awareness among OutThere travellers of their impact when they travel. They put their money where their values lie and that will continue into this year and beyond. OutThere travellers truly understand their purchasing power. They have been successful in toppling conservatism in travel through boycotts and activism. They are much more aware than ever before about ownership and governance and will hold destinations and travel brands accountable.
Interestingly though, what we have noticed, is that while sustainability and environmental impact has long been a concern for OutThere travellers, this year it seems that they will initially deprioritise when it comes to choosing their holiday in lieu of hedonism and self-indulgence.
While there may be a contradiction between a desire for greater environmental stewardship and hedonism, this does not mean that there is any change in expectation. They may prioritise fun first, but they remain passionate about travelling with a purpose. 70% of OutThere travellers said that they will pay more to travel sustainably.
What we are also seeing this year is an increase in demand for supplier-based advocacy; and with that greater transparency in how travel providers go about their business. Previously more demand-driven, OutThere travellers are now looking to work and book with those who are completely open about how they work, the quality of the supply chain and whose products and services see sustainable and regenerative travel coming as a brand standard. Ultimately, they want suppliers to do the hard work for them.
“If you aren’t fully transparent, and most aren’t, now is the time for you to start the journey towards it. In France, comprehensive end-to-end supply chain accountability legislation has been brought into law: the Droit de Vigilance, a statute requiring large companies operating in France to monitor and remediate human rights and environmental risk across their global operations, and their suppliers. It’s all part of a culture shift toward transparency across supply chain industries. Further legislation will come but it’s better to be ahead than behind.”
Photography by Martin Perry, on location in New York City, USA for OutThere’s Monumental New York Issue