Companies across the cruise, airline and hospitality industries are opening up the world to more travelers— regardless of gender, age, abilities, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Serving a more diverse demographic, travel companies must implement effective business strategies to cultivate a sense of belonging amongst both customers and employees.
However, according to an Accenture survey of more than 2,700 consumers from the airline, cruise and lodging segments across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, many travel companies do not prioritize inclusion and diversity.
With inclusion and diversity as a key driver of customer loyalty and business growth, our new research shows four key I&D initiatives that can enable travel companies to enhance engagement, improve customer interactions and earn long-term customer loyalty:
1. Make I&D a priority
From offering autism-friendly kids’ camps to providing advancement opportunities for under-represented groups within their organizations, travel companies must commit to and bring to life I&D practices that align with their customers’ values of I&D.
2. Boost I&D practices for all
Travel companies without a strong culture of I&D fail to gain and retain customers. By publicly reflecting inclusive practices and I&D values similar to their customers, these companies can foster true customer loyalty.
3. Deliver inclusive customer experiences
When it comes to representing I&D principles to travelers, travel companies must offer more customized experiences that account for factors like age, ability, gender, gender identity and expression, religion and sexual orientation.
4. Create a quick response team
In the wake of the #MeToo revelations and other I&D-related incidents, big brands in the travel industry are finding new ways to take swift, corrective measures to address and solve their I&D challenges with quick response teams.
Building a culture of equality
As travel companies focus on their I&D initiatives to meet and exceed consumers’ increasing expectations, they are also tasked with building a culture of equality within their organizations. By focusing on the following subset of business components, these companies can drive innovation, creativity and competitive advantage—demonstrating an authentic commitment to inclusion and diversity: