Destinations International, Charlottesville Albemarle CVB develop “Tourism for All” program

Destinations International and the Charlottesville Albemarle CVB have developed “Tourism for All,” a pilot program aiming to make it a more welcoming destination.
Destinations International and the Charlottesville Albemarle CVB have developed “Tourism for All,” a pilot program aiming to make it a more welcoming destination.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Destinations International has partnered with the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau in Virginia to launch “Tourism for All”—an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) program with the goal of becoming more inclusive and accessible.

According to a media release, the pilot program will create an EDI pledge and action plan for the CVB’s initiative to develop inclusive tour products and support tourism partners in becoming a more welcoming destination. It will also focus on educating businesses traditionally excluded from tourism on how they can participate and benefit from it.

While the program has launched in Charlottesville, it is planned to be offered to other destinations beginning in early 2024 with assistance from TripAdvisor.

After a harrowing episode of racial violence in the city in 2017, CVB executive director Courtney Cacatian (who joined the organization in 2019), wanted to focus more on EDI.  Together with her colleagues Talia Salem (CVB tourism marketing strategist) and Sophia Hyder Hock (chief diversity officer with Destinations International), Cacatian developed the idea for “Tourism for All.”

“I’m so pleased to see our community’s work over the past couple of years be formalized into a usable model for other destinations,” says Cacatian. “Building on the success of our Destiny Award-winning Discover Black Cville and ‘Tourism for All’ effort, I look forward to seeing how broadening our scope of creating a welcoming space for everyone will bring positive impact to our community, residents, businesses, and visitors.”

TripAdvisor’s involvement will allow the program to identify trends and EDI-related terms within traveler-generated content to indicate its success.

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