Applied DEI Business Strategies Will Transform Your Enterprise

Travel Unity’s Applied DEI business strategies can bring diversity, equity and inclusion into your company while supporting employee retention

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a frequently misunderstood topic regarding best business strategies. At its core, there is a key concept that’s hard to argue with: people’s identities are based on their lived experiences and diverse needs.

Travel Unity, a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit founded in 2016, believes that travel should be for people of all backgrounds and abilities.

Believing this is one thing, but what does it mean to do the work?

How to Practice Applied DEI Business Strategies

Applied DEI is Travel Unity’s term for how an organization can implement DEI practices – not just by talking but by creating a path for everyone to feel welcome within the world of travel.

In 2020, Travel Unity worked with over 100 individuals to craft publicly available DEI Standards for Travel & Tourism. These standards are based on three pillars: Management & Workforce, Visitorship, and Community Impact. These are three business strategies that organizations can utilize when engaging with human beings – staff, customers and the broader community around them.

Travel Unity has worked with many visitor-facing organizations through alliances, workshops/trainings and consulting services to help them align with these DEI standards.

Visitorship and Applied DEI

DEI isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s a good business strategy. When you’re more inclusive, you will appeal to a much broader customer base. Visitors who feel they belong have better experiences and are likelier to recommend your product to their friends and family.

For visitor-facing organizations looking to influence a more comprehensive array of customers, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Is my marketing collateral inclusive?

Representation matters. If people don’t see faces and bodies who look like themselves in your marketing, they’ll be less drawn to your product. Even for people who are not from a marginalized identity, there are plenty of those who only want to do business with inclusive organizations.

  1. Are my experiences consistent with clear information on what a visitor can expect?

No one wants an unpleasant experience based on an aspect of who they are. Additionally, there is information and planning needed for visitors who have specific needs or concerns. Mobility issues pose dilemmas for some who need to know the number of steps and distances involved in travel. If people have dietary restrictions, they will want to know that appropriate meals are available.

Cultivating an Inclusive Workplace

Unless you’re a solo entrepreneur, your organization should attract potential employees and find creative business strategies to keep them on board.

Fair pay and benefits are a big part of retaining employees, but that doesn’t guarantee optimal performance. It isn’t just about the money, honey. People need to feel valued to bring their full creativity and impact to the workplace.

There are several ways to appeal to a wider array of candidates, such as removing unnecessary requirements from job descriptions and mitigating bias in interviews. For example, have a set of standard questions you ask all candidates for an even comparison.

After you’ve gained new recruits, it’s essential to not rely solely on an open-door policy. Instead, you must find active ways to engage with employees. Get their feedback and act on it. This is the best way to show them they are meaningful to you and your organization.

An Ongoing Journey

There are always new ideas to consider when implementing DEI, no matter how your company currently utilizes the strategy. Refrain from getting discouraged when things don’t go right. Instead, accept that you are constantly learning and improving, meaning mistakes are opportunities to grow. Once your organization has a set direction, you can impact other companies you regularly work with. Share your knowledge and help them engage in the critical work of inclusivity for everyone in the world of travel.


Travel Unity provides DEI certifications to organizations and individuals, as well as resources around DEI for members of the Travel Unity Alliance. For more information, visit or contact Roni Weiss at or (212) 923-7704.