The need for change in travel and tourism

The hospitality industry is continuing its efforts towards improving sustainability, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) with cross-sector discussions and in-person activities. The Power of Partnership Stewardship Summit (POPS) is taking place in Richmond, Virginia, on Oct. 15th through the 18th is a collaboration between Tourism Cares, Cultural Heritage Alliance, Inc., The Travel Foundation and the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Marketing Council. The summit will be dedicated to discussing how to actively improve on these issues in a post-pandemic world and the strategies for change in the future through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and collaborative effort between travel, tourism and communities.

“As travel and tourism continue to take shape post-pandemic, there’s a need to radically change how the industry manages its stewardship of destinations and better engage the residents who live there,” said Stephanie M. Jones, founder and CEO of Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance, Inc. and Blacks in Travel & Tourism. “The primary goal of POPS is to generate action and partnerships, calling for industry transformation.”

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Travel, Tourism and Community Collaborate

Engaging leaders from both travel and tourism will ensure ideas and concerns are shared in order for solutions to be not only discussed and implemented across the intertwined industries. With a reported 350-400 registrants, the summit will be attended by planners, suppliers, domestic and international buyers, press and cultural heritage and climate community representatives.

POPS advertisement

The Goal of POPS

The collaborative and cooperative environment at POPS will break down barriers between the industries and the communities as well as between the industries themselves to brainstorm initiatives to increase sustainability, DEI, ESG and Return On Investment (ROI.) In the Multicultural Marketplace, DMO-sponsored booths suppliers who represent diversity and the community and are then assigned appointments with domestic and international buyers, press and social media influencers. Promoting the DMO’s DEI strategies and the POPS mission with business-to-business networking is a tangible way to work towards progress in the future.

This multicultural event will be an interactive and educational experience to increase awareness and understanding of how cultural tourism is affecting the industry. In a press release from Tourism Cares, attendees of the first annual POPS can expect the following topics to be addressed by expert speakers and panelists:

  • Driving Economic Development to Underrepresented Communities through Cultural Tourism
  • Future of Tourism Town Hall: Global Brands’ Commitment to Sustaining DEI & ESG
  • Future of Tourism Town Hall: Destination 2030: How Tourism Must Adapt to Thrive
  • Developing Messaging for Marketing Climate, Culture & Community for a Destination Stewardship Plan

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POPS Experience

Educational sessions with diverse panelists are just one of the benefits of attending POPS. The networking opportunities include appointments for DMOs and BIPOC suppliers with domestic/international buyers and press who represent the diversity and inclusion POPS is striving towards. The summit is presenting live cultural art performances, storytelling sessions and hosting receptions at venues with cultural and historical meaning. Attendees will also participate in a “full in-community experience day” – a chance to experience Richmond, VA and learn how to better incorporate and support the communities hosting corporate events.

“The Summit’s Experience Day creates an opportunity to bring a diverse group of industry stakeholders together to participate in meaningful travel experiences, connecting guests with the city of Richmond in a deeper way,” says Greg Takehara, CEO of Tourism Cares. “By stepping outside the conference walls and connecting with local changemakers, our goal is that participants will engage with these organizations and integrate them into future travel experiences.”

Downtown Richmond, Virginia
Downtown Richmond, Virginia

How to Get Involved

Registration for POPS is open now and the registration information can be found here. The deadline for registration for the event is September 15th. For more information on the partners of POPS, visit their websites listed below.

Power of Partnership Stewardship Summit (POPS)

Tourism Cares

The Travel Foundation

U.S. Cultural & Heritage Marketing Council

Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance, Inc.