Younger workers are challenging travel employers to promote diversity and corporate social responsibility (CSR) agendas in the workplace.
Senior figures at Hoseasons owner Wyndham Vacation Rentals and Thomas Cook said younger adults have grown up in a more “inclusive” environment and expect the same at work.
Simon Altham, managing director of revenue at Wyndham Vacation Rentals UK, said:
“Millennials started this conversation, but we are finding that people of all ages are adopting those values.”
Hoseasons has featured LGBT couples and people of different ethnicities in its marketing.
Couples and groups now make up 55% of Hoseasons’ UK customers, overtaking families.
“As a company we thought hard about our brand values and one of the things that comes out is tolerance and acceptance,” he said.
“If customers are choosing our brand and don’t share those values, then fundamentally they don’t share our values. We also have a duty of care to those customers.”
Altham praised Cook’s decision to include a same-sex couple in its turn-of-year advertising.
“For a brand like Thomas Cook to do this, with all its tradition, history and legacy, is a really bold move and I take my hat off to them.
“It will make people feel a long-term commitment to Thomas Cook as it appears more inclusive and welcoming,” said Altham.
He added: “This is how travel businesses are going to survive in an ever-changing diverse world – by listening to their customers.”
Jamie Queen, group marketing director at Thomas Cook, said he did not have to seek permission to use LGBT images in its marketing.
The footage featured two men kissing and a family with two dads.
Speaking at the ITT Conference, Queen said as well as the market potential, he was influenced by millennials who have grown up in an inclusive world and challenge the company on diversity.
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