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2022 Travel Unity Summit Northeast: NYSTIA's Takeaways

by Rachele Markle

Last week, NYSTIA's Rachele Markle had the opportunity to represent NYSTIA at the 2022 Travel Unity Summit Northeast, hosted in the historic town of Auburn, NY. Programming was packed with exemplary DEAI approaches throughout the Northeast, accessibility initiatives in NYS, meaningful community engagement, DEAI marketing, and much more.

There is no one way to do DEAI.

DEAI doesn't have to happen all at once, alone, or right away. It is an ongoing process and mentality. Initiatives will look differently for every business, organization, and destination, but the spirit of learning and reflection always remains the same.

Intent is not enough: taking action and leaning into the discomfort are what stimulate meaningful change. DEAI should integrated into everything you do.

Sort Your Ideas by Quick Wins to Long-Term Goals

Beginning your DEAI journey starts with the simple step of soliciting ideas. Sort those ideas by ease, and implement the "quick hits" while you plan for long-term goals. This helps foster the DEAI mentality in the long run while staying dedicated to making change now.

If You Integrate DEAI, Tourists Will Come!

Tourists with disabilities and diverse backgrounds and identities are eager to explore, travel, and spend their money at your destination. Don't leave them out of your workforce development initiatives, marketing efforts, and community discussions.

Kudos to Roni Weiss at Travel Unity, a NYSTIA member, as well as to Karen Kuhl and her team at Tour Cayuga for all of the exemplary DEAI work being done in Auburn, the chosen hometown of Harried Tubman. NYSTIA's DEAI committee values our partnership with Travel Unity and the work they do to bring important conversations to the table. Our committee played a pivotal role in contributing to the success of the 2022 Travel Unity Summit Northeast, participating in programming, panels, and discussions. 
DEAI is an ongoing process and mentality. Seeing so many NYSTIA members part of the discussion and movement was inspiring. It was moving to reflect on our practices and learn how we can work together to make NYS a destination welcoming for all. 

The DEI Committee wants to hear your DEI or DEAI story! Share your Case Study to highlight your work on our website possibly at a future NYSTIA event or webinar.

NYSTIA's DEAI Committee