Marriott brings together tourism leaders from the LGBTQ+ community in the Caribbean and Latin America
The virtual event had more than 100 attendees from all over the region
Marriott International held "Panel Bazaar del Orgullo", prominent members of the tourism sector belonging to the LGBTQ+ community in the Caribbean and Latin America have been able to share their vision. The round table had more than 100 attendees from across the region.
- Robert Guidice, Chief Lodging Officer of Marriott International in the Caribbean and Latin America
- Oriol Pamies, founder of Queer Destinations and member of the Board of Directors of the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA)
- Moderators: Camilo Quintero and José Vergara, influencers and creators of Our Daily Lives
- Global alliance between Marriott International and the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA):
- As a member of the IGLTA Board of Directors, Oriol Pamies shared a bit of his vision as someone who has experienced the LGBTQ+ tourism industry from different perspectives in his 10 years in the sector. In the past, the LGBTQ+ segment had to convince the public to advocate for their cause, whereas today they are not only supported, but the fact is that the community is leading the innovation and development of the industry.
- Companies like Marriott International have been allies of IGLTA for years, and what is important about this alliance is the action taken at the different levels of the industry. Wherever IGLTA has a strategy, Marriott International is there; The reality is that Marriott is not only interested in the community at the sales level, but also at the level of inclusion and diversity. Marriott ensures that there is commitment, advocacy, activism and transparency in every decision it makes, from a marketing standpoint to its in-property protocols. The priority is to make a real positive impact, and help create a more inclusive world.
- Marriott's business style has become more focused on entertainment, and this has driven many visits to our properties from the community, which has been stimulated by the way we present ourselves: an organization that truly values diversity. "This comes, in large part, from the strategic practices within Marriott." Guidice mentioned that his favorite practice of the moment, the Love Travels campaign, which is a message that is addressed to absolutely everyone, especially the LGBTQ+ community, "We have also emphasized our message Be you, with Us so that everyone knows that with Marriott there is always room for everyone."
- “But one of Marriott's best practices,” says Guidice, “is just having representation. When LGBTQ+ travelers come to our hotels, they are often greeted by members of their own community. There is no role in the company, or in our properties, that is prohibited simply because it is different. There is diversity and inclusion in all functions, positions and areas of the company."
- Pamies also spoke about Marriott's effort to set a standard in the travel industry. "We live in a time when all brands change their logos, their windows, and their theme in general, and get covered in rainbow colors June after June. But what happens during the rest of the year? What happens when take off their rainbow flags? Marriott is a company that truly shows its support year-round. The work that IGLTA and Marriott International are doing is an example of what it means to be a true partner."
- Marriott's role in supporting the LGBTQ+ community in the Caribbean and Latin America:
- Marriott's initiative begins at the top of the organization with Mr. Marriott, who has always insisted that everyone is welcome at his properties around the world. No matter what role you play when you arrive, everyone is welcome at Marriott properties. "It's evident in our company's core values, most notably our core value of putting people first ," says Guidice. "It seems simple, and it really is. If we strive to put others first, guests, associates, co-workers, we win everyone's hearts, and they feel included and valued at all times. Never they feel undervalued for who they are or what they are.”
- "What gets measured gets done, and we measure our approach to diversity around the world," Guidice said.
- Which countries have started to make a difference in how they welcome LGBTQ+ travellers? As Queer Destinations they guarantee an experience for LGBTQ+ travelers around the world.?
- Pamies explains that although LGBTQ+ rights are not advancing at the same rate in every country in the world, this does not mean that the LGBTQ+ community of travelers stopped going somewhere. The work that Queer Destinations does is very simple, and yet it is fundamental to the creation of a healthy and inclusive society. Until recently there were no requirements, norms or lists of standards to measure what it means for a company to be “LGBTQ+ friendly.” "It's very easy to create ads and put rainbow flags on a product, but making a real effort to be inclusive is something very different."
- The purpose of Queer Destinations is to give LGBTQ+ travelers the assurance that, although not all destinations in the world are as friendly as they should be, there will always be a place that welcomes the community with open arms, that strives to be a better ally, and that meets clear standards regarding respect and empathy.
- Why is the tourism sector considered one of the most inclusive in the world?
- “You can't have a truly inclusive team if you don't lead with inclusion," says Guidice. Marriott International's Caribbean and Latin America operations leader mentions how, if we go back to the travel and tourism industry, a large percentage of the workforce in this sector has always been LGBTQ+ - hostesses, tour guides, hotel staff - Guidice explains how this comes from a time when LGBTQ+ people were not as accepted as they are today, and taking jobs in the tourism sector, as it gave them the opportunity to get away from less inclusive environments.These people were the ones who paved the way for the travel and tourism industry, and created the inclusive sector we know today .
- Pamies explains that "Travel means to be free," as it allows us all to be ourselves wherever we go, and the fact that there is representation in every hotel only reinforces this idea, because everyone can be true to their true identity without fear of being judged or rejected. Inclusive tourism means that there is space and value for everyone, regardless of their origin, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation or age. Pamies emphasized that while not all companies in the travel industry are inclusive and compliant with the LGBTQ+ community, there are a large percentage of companies with a footprint large enough to obscure the ignorance that exists in the travel industry. the world. “Companies like Marriott International.”
- Strategies and activations created by Marriott International in the Caribbean and Latin America to celebrate, defend, and create a positive impact in the LGBTQ+ community.
- "Pride is more than a festival we celebrate once a year. Celebrating it during the month of June has become a tradition, but for us at Marriott International, it's an everyday celebration." We honor the work and effort of the LGBTQ+ community to achieve equal rights around the world, and we try to incorporate our activism in each of our actions," explains Guidice.
- Marriott International in the Caribbean and Latin America has many activities in celebration of Pride month, such as the Pride Bazaar Panel, for example, where the idea is to educate others on how we can improve inclusivity in our industry when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. . "We've also been celebrating, as Pride month is a time to celebrate who you are and who you love," explains Guidice, who was recently in the W Bogotá Pride Suite with MAC Cosmetics, where proceeds were donated to the Foundation. Real Love to support members of the homeless community.
- Some of the events organized by Marriott International throughout the region include our Nightly Brunches, called "Linner"; the Viva la Roof Party in Puerto Rico during the month of July, the Drag Night Brunch in Aruba, the Marriott International float for the Pride Parade in Panama, shopping in Mexico and Costa Rica where the community can have visibility, among others.
- Another activity this year is the Pride Tote Bag, made in collaboration with the brilliant Puerto Rican artist, Bernardo Medina. While the bag will be donated in various markets in the region, the tote bag will be sold in Puerto Rico and the proceeds will be donated to the True Self Foundation, a local non-profit organization that promotes the well-being of the LGBTQ+ community.
- What can travelers do to ensure they are traveling to destinations and staying in places that have the best LGBTQ+ policies?
- The panelists advised travelers to create a kind of "check list" and make sure that, wherever they go, the hotels and destinations they travel to have these standards in their establishments, that they are very transparent about their policies, and that they do not apply these practices only during the month of June, but throughout the year.