Workplace Diversity in Hospitality & Tourism
The United States Department of Commerce statistics estimated that a total of 59.7 million tourists from different part of the world visited the U.S. in 2010. Similarly, a total of 2 million U.S. citizens visited China alone as tourists in 2010. Statistics show that 8 million people are employed in the travel and tourism industry and the report further reported that 1.2 million are linked directly with international tourists. These statistics confirm just how diverse the workforce composition in the industry has become. Workplace diversity in hospitality and tourism is therefore a key factor in facilitating cultural exchange on a global level.
Globalization has enhanced the diversity experienced in the hospitality and tourism industry because of its multicultural nature. Tourism involves the movement of people from their usual surroundings to places of interest either within the country or across international borders for leisure, business, fun or adventure. Hospitality, on the other hand, involves providing services such as travel, accommodation and entertainment to meet the needs of tourists. Hospitality and tourism aims at optimizing the experience of tourists in cultural environments that differ from those of their home countries or regions.Hospitality and tourism present a unique opportunity to understand new cultural experiences for both employees and the tourists. It is important for the personnel to understand and appreciate different cultures to enhance the nature of their interactions with tourists of different cultures, religions, races, creeds, colors, ages, genders and sexual orientations. It is for this reason that businesses plying their trade in this industry must endeavor to train their personnel to appreciate and accommodate people from diverse backgrounds around the world. As such, workplace diversity not only facilitates easy understanding of different cultural, social and economic perspectives but also enhances the delivery of satisfactory services through communication and observation.The workforce composition in the hospitality and tourism establishments is definitely vast and diverse. Indeed, it is necessary to employ people from all walks of life and nationalities so as to nurture workplace diversity that portends positive influence and enhanced productivity in the hospitality and tourism industry. Workplace diversity also enables businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry to nurture and portray a positive image of inclusive equal employment opportunities for all without regard to race, gender or nationality.
Workplace diversity in the hospitality and tourism industry is enhanced through visions that promote equal employment opportunity to cater for the different nationalities in the market. The industry gets to appreciate the world's socio-cultural and economic differences through the recruitment of people of diverse backgrounds. As such, businesses in this industry need to establish organizational policies that not only discourage discrimination but also encourage intercultural activities such as cultural educational programs and forums. Businesses also should employ organizational structure that comprise of people from different regions and races and spread key appointments to qualified staff from across the board.