Exploring the barriers to co-creating diverse and inclusive travel experiences for BAME tourists
Start dateFebruary 2022
End dateJuly 2022
Based on previous research, there are growing concerns of racism, (in)equality, lack of diversity and inclusion (EDI) in key travel and tourism communication/information, products and services focussing on the experiences of ethnic minority travellers. It has been evidenced that such travel market is an economically powerful segment with distinct characteristics, needs and challenges, that has huge potential for growth and benefits for the tourism industry, yet has been largely ignored by the mainstream tourism industry. At an organisational level, many travel entrepreneurs and business leaders claim that they appreciate diversity and inclusion as a core organisational value to reach and engage with an ethnically diverse travel market. However, the lack of practical guidance and research evidence in formulating effective EDI strategies that engage ethnically minor employees and travellers, is hindering their progress in incorporating EDI in their corporate DNA. Therefore, understanding the challenges organisations face in terms of EDI and the nature of the industry’s current EDI practices is vital to create positive impact in the travel and tourism industry.
Aims and objectives
The project aims to explore the motivations, needs and barriers for travel entrepreneurs, businesses and content creators in (co-)creating inclusive tourism experiences for diverse travel audiences. Findings from the interviews evidenced that EDI is highly associated with the organisation’s HR policies and they acknowledge the need to embrace diversity, which is reflected in their recruitment strategies and policies. Yet, the reality is that there is still a lack of diversity in the workforce and limited representations of race and beyond (e.g. age, disabilities, gender, etc.), especially in the senior management levels. There is still a need in a better understanding in EDI and how organisations can strategically take action in the short, medium and long term.
FASS Pump Priming
Dr Yoo Ri Kim
Yoo Ri is a Senior Lecturer in Hospitality Management. She gained her BSc in Geography with Economic at the London School of Economics and Political Science and MSc in International Tourism Development at the University of Surrey. At the same university, she completed her doctoral degree on spatial clustering and productivity in the hospitality and tourism industry, funded by the ESRC. Yoo Ri is continuing her research on applied economics, productivity and performance, and expanding her research expertise into big data and innovation and equity, diversity and inclusion in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Dr Bora Kim
Lecturer in Hospitality Management, Program Director for UG IHM and ITHM
Dr. Bora Kim joined Surrey as a Lecturer in Hospitality Management in 2020. She examines managerially-relevant questions in the tourism and hospitality industry from the perspective of strategic and financial management. Particularly, she examines how characteristics of executives and corporate governance influence managerial actions and firm performance. Her research interests include corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and strategic leadership. Bora received her Ph.D. and MSc in hospitality management from the Pennsylvania State University on Fulbright scholarship funding and completed her BBA in hotel management at Kyung Hee University.
Dr Albert Kimbu
Reader, Head of Department of Tourism and Transport
Albert gained his BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Yaoundé (Cameroon), then obtained an MA in Heritage Management from the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus (Germany), picking up a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resources Management along the way. He then completed his PhD in Tourism at Nottingham Trent University where he also worked as a Lecturer in Tourism and International Business Communication/Environment, before joining the University of Surrey in September 2010.
Dr Sumeetra Ramakrishnan
Senior Teaching Fellow
My research interests lie within employment and opportunity perceptions of hospitality and tourism workers in low paid jobs with a particular focus on gender and ethnicity influences. I am also increasingly drawn towards innovation in learning content and pedagogy that would address the career ambitions and life aspirations of students besides fulfilling the requirements of the radically transforming hospitality industry..
My work has been published in various journals and as book chapters including Economic and Industrial Democracy, Journal of Services Research, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management and Service Industries Journal. I am also a reviewer for various management, tourism and hospitality journals. I have received research funding for various projects to facilitate my research in hospitality and tourism education and successfully supervised PhD students in hospitality and tourism research.
I have led projects on inclusive educational and organizational practices with the Surrey Institute of Education and partnered with social enterprises like Women in Travel and Travel Foundation towards creating equitable work opportunities for women entrepreneurs and business leaders. I sit on the University of Surrey’s Race Equality (RE) Steering Committee and was involved in the recent submission of the University’s RE Charter application. I am the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences EDI representative, and the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management’s AthenaSWAN impact lead. I am a consultant for Religious Literacy Partnership, with a particular interest in women of faith and contribute to BBC Surrey/Sussex on diversity in hospitality education and act as an expert contributor to Skill Boosters on inclusive work practices.
- Literature review
- Working in progress paper
- Lead to the success of the IAA project
- Will contribute to the larger ESRC bid early 2023.