Destinations International Teams Up With National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals to Tackle Diversity Challenges

The groups plan to create an annual report card that assesses diversity and inclusion in the industry.


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The Black Lives Matter movement has reinvigorated a national conversation on racism that extends beyond just police brutality. Across the country, organizations are being challenged to diversify their staffs, executive leadership, messaging and more. 

The meetings industry is no different. Earlier this month, 21 Black leaders representing travel destinations signed an open letter calling for change.

In an effort to improve and increase diversity within the meetings and travel industries, Destinations International has announced a new strategic partnership with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals. The groups will collaborate on an advocacy plan that provides comprehensive data and recommended actions with respect to disparities within the destination-organization ecosystem. Together, the organizations aim to educate, uplift and unite the meetings and hospitality industries in an equitable way.

"Destinations International is committed to listening and engaging in conversations and working with members and partners in our industry to be a catalyst for change," said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. "Our partnership with NCBMP will allow us to strengthen and grow our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives with a company committed to the needs of Black hospitality professionals and all hospitality professionals that support Black meetings and events."

Together, the organizations aim to achieve the following goals:

  • Publishing an annual destination-organization report card that measures diversity and inclusion in the broader hospitality industry over five years
  • Establishing a five-year partnership that includes an annual leadership academy focused on an executive leadership track for Black and diverse candidates
  • Using the partnership to enhance Destinations International's recently launched "We're Here to Help" campaign, which is designed to provide support for meeting professionals during this trying time
  • Increasing the use of diverse, ethnic subject matter consultants

"Destinations International has answered the call of helping us point the moral compass of the hospitality ecosystem towards equity and empowerment," said Jason Dunn, chairman of NCBMP and group vice president of diversity sales and inclusion at the Cincinnati Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The foundation of this partnership is cemented in gaining the understanding of where our industry is currently and establishing measurable KPIs in a sustainable way. This is the first step in the right direction — we must be bold and innovative to create change."