Multicultural and Diversity Best Practices in Tourism

Here at the DTTT, we love to be challenged to find great examples of best practice, especially when it's on a topic of real importance.


We would love to see if there are any really interesting multicultural content and storytelling initiatives out there which highlight heritage tourism for travel inspiration?

Here at the DTTT, we love to be challenged to find great examples of best practice, especially when it's on a topic of real importance. The last few years haven't been without controversy, if we think about the polarisation of global politics, movements that have changed our perspective, such as Black Lives Matters, or the often strained relationship we have in society with race and religion, which exists in many parts of the world.

In tourism, we have seen increasing awareness around such topics not as something to shy away from but something to address head-on and celebrate. Tourism is about the exchange of people, cultures, experiences and backgrounds and these very same values are often so deeply rooted in the experience of the destination itself.

Whilst generally business and politics don't go together, one thing that any strong brand can speak to is the importance of values. When we think about this from a destination perspective, we know that values are core to a destination's identity, its unique proposition and the fabric which ties it all together. It's the destination's values, often communicated through experiences and people, which resonate with potential visitors and remain with those who visit.

As destinations, should we focus only on reinforcing an image, which doesn't really match today's reality, or should we use our platform to communicate our values and celebrate the diversity, depth and richness of the destination? Is it controversial to speak up for different communities and give them a voice in our message? Is it right to drive discovery beyond a romanticised view of the destination and skip the real reflection of its people and culture?

If we see tourism as a sort of 'soft diplomacy', can we also see the value of the visitor economy as something which can truly enrich culture and society through discovery? Perhaps an industry made up of amazing people, connections and memories are part of something richer, a healing of souls, a coming together of people, a celebration of difference and rejecting division.

As we increasingly turn to sustainability, 'community is becoming ever more important as a defining factor of what sustainable tourism looks like. With this, destinations are being forced to look deeper at the destination story, to focus on experiences, which bring out the richness and diversity of different cultures, neighbourhoods and communities and in some cases to look back at history, to reflect on a difficult past head-on, through the lens of its contribution to the destination today.

Below, we've pulled together a diverse set of examples, which we think really speak to the cultural diversity celebrated in many destinations.

Visit Philadelphia

Visit Philadelphia's 'The Art of the Pivot' talk is one of our all-time favourite keynotes at the DTTT and she really speaks to this subject in a way that few others have.

Visit Philadelphia also decided to confront the issues of today and address the injustices highlighted by Black Lives Matter. With the belief that Philadelphia grows through its diversity, they decided to take a stand by creating web content and providing tools to help travellers support black and brown owned businesses. This continues to be a priority for Visit Philadelphia, making a statement with their media and brand assets and driving campaigns to directly increase footfall to black and brown owned business. They continue to work hard to raise awareness and use media, such as the podcast Love + Grit, which gives a voice to issues, stories - the lovely and the gritty, through the people, who love and breathe the city.

Talking about Love + Grit, Rachel explains that the podcast is specifically for black and brown travellers. It's authentic, engaging and rich in the diversity of its subject matter. This is an example of a strategic pivot born out of the pandemic. Read the full story.

Black in NYC Experience

Whilst this content feature may not stand out for its web design as a campaign, dig a little deeper and you will discover a rich curation of content, which celebrates NYC's Black community. This is one of the strongest examples of celebrating the contribution of black culture amongst any destination, for its variety, richness and depth of the content spotlighted.

Black culture is integral to the identity of NYC, the city with the largest Black population in the US. Its influence can be felt across the five boroughs in many forms: world-renowned music and style, a celebrated food scene, the visual and performing arts, live experiences, business owners and all who lead the charge in keeping the City progressive, resilient and safe.

With this content series, we spotlight, celebrate and amplify New York City’s Black experience and the community whose cultural contributions reverberate around the globe. Bookmark this page and remember to check back as we will continue to add new content.

The content section on New York's destination pages includes a series of 'Black Owned Neighbourhood Guides', 'Love Letters to NYC' and curated video playlists. This truly is a treasure trove of endless discovery and well worthy of mention.

Helsinki Freedom

The Visit Philadelphia case is a rare example of a City Destination speaking up to its values, in the most unambiguous way possible. This represents a wider trend we are seeing, particularly amongst City Destinations, who are becoming increasingly confident to use their platform to talk about their values. It's a trend that might be considered surprising, as values can often be subjective and polarise opinion, but for those who have successfully done so, they are quite the opposite. Their values are the truest reflection of the city's people, cultures and identities and so often speak to tolerance, openness, diversity and cultural richness.

At Helsinki Marketing they are proud of the values which underpin Finnish society and in particular, the opportunities that Helsinki offers as a city, not just to visit but to live and work in. With this, they created a series together with award-winning documentary filmmakers known as 'Helsinki Freedom' screened first on Instagram through IGTV. This is a collection of short documentaries told by different perspectives of people who have made Helsinki their home, talking about the freedoms they enjoy, well, to be themselves.

Check out the video below and all the Helsinki Freedom stories here.

The Nordic capitals are certainly frontrunners in promoting values, openness and diversity at the core of their brand. More often than not these values are interwoven with the wider brand message, rather than extracted into a theme, category or section on their site. For this reason, identifying specific examples of best practice can be a challenge.

Greenland's Nunarput Nuan

We absolutely love the work of Visit Greenland, a destination, which has been increasingly looking at sustainability from the perspective of cultural heritage and a celebration of Greenlandic culture. When the pandemic struck, they were driven by a surprising innovation curve which led them to look inwards, at the domestic market to develop destination experiences for Greenland's population of just 56,000. We are so proud that the team at Visit Greenland made use of the DTTT's open-source Support Tourism. Impact Real People. brand initiative to create Nuan Staycation Campaign. Their Webby Award-winning video is called 'The Future of Travel' and the entire soundtrack for the video comprises traditional Greenlandic music and the experiences, forming part of the staycation campaign bring the local population closer to their culture and heritage. Find out more about this in our May Trends Chat. We love this because, well, it looks at Greenlandic culture in a way, which is simply, authentic.


Aboriginal Australia

A Vision for Regenerative Tourism

Aboriginal Australia is an interesting example of combining experience development together with the brand, content and story of the destination. One of the things we really like about what Australia is doing here is that in addition to crafting 185 uniquely authentic experiences, they also have a 'Charter of Respect' which guides and helps visitors to understand the aboriginal culture, with education being a really important factor.

Discover Aboriginal Experiences is a collective of over 185 quality, authentic Aboriginal guided tourism offerings. This collective is part of Tourism Australia’s Signature Experiences of Australia Program that packages and promotes Australia’s outstanding tourism products.


Aboriginal culture starts with its people. Aboriginal guides open a door into a world that many people don’t know still exists. A world where past, present and future meet. There’s nothing more exciting for a traveller than a totally new experience. That’s what memories are made of.

Dr Aden Ridgeway, Gumbaynggirr man, and former chair of Indigenous Tourism Australia

Read more by checking out Australian Aboriginal Experiences, industry guidelines and Australian Aboriginal Experiences on australia.com.

We are Aotearoa:


A Vision for Regenerative Tourism

Produced over a 6-month study period, this is a ground-breaking report,  showcases how to build an approach based on actual human-centricity. This approach takes into consideration different players, their needs and relationships and how they align under the same vision for the future of the nation. This is at the basis of applying design-thinking, collaborative methods to developing strategies and solving current challenges to enhance future experiences.

It is outstanding to see how holistic and wholesome the approach is: designing to include the whole industry, region, destination, this way of approaching tourism, completely breaks the silos and integrates the tourism strategy into a broader vision.

BE BOLD, BE BRAVE, BE AUTHENTIC. Tourism is complex. It is a networked ecosystem that touches the lives of all New Zealanders. Tourism has already contributed so much to our nation’s prosperity; we see a future where the domestic and international visitor economy will further enrich wellbeing in all aspects of life in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Read the full DTTT analysis of this here


Indigenous Tourism British Columbia

The Indigenous Tourism Association of British Columbia is a non-profit, membership-based organization that is committed to growing and promoting a sustainable, culturally rich Indigenous tourism industry. They are one of the richest examples of developing a rich and diverse understanding of indigenous culture in any region globally and finding the way to successfully integrating this in partnership with the wider destination brand. Instead of slotting this in as part of the wider destination offer under a 'category' for indigenous culture, they go so much further in helping visitors to understand, interpret and discover indigenous culture through storytelling, experiences, culture, gastronomy and nature. This really is about enriching the destination offer through the lens of the indigenous people, culture and heritage of British Columbia.

Indigenous peoples in British Columbia maintain deep connections to the lands, waters, animals, and supernatural realms of their unique Territories.  These connections are more important now than ever before, as we all realise what Indigenous BC has long known–our health and wholeness are written upon the land.

Further afield. indigenous tourism in Canada is an area, which is becoming increasingly important to get the right balance. Organisations such as Indigenous Tourism Canada are positioned to support and strengthen the development of the indigenous tourism industry through initiatives such as RISE, a recognition programme to help operators meet the increasing demand for indigenous tourism experiences.

Hawaii Rooted

Hawaii Rooted is a beautiful series of videos, also adapted for IGTV, which bring visitors closer to the indigenous culture and language of Hawaii, by introducing different words which communicate meanings.

Beneath the breathtaking natural wonder and exotic beauty unique to each of the Hawaiian Islands, there are vital roots. These are the stories of the people who tend to them. Who cultivate ancient ways of living in harmony with the environment and embrace local and Hawaiian culture with equal parts aloha and responsibility. For the next generation. And for Hawaii to stay rooted.

We love the way this evocative approach to content creation brings visitors closer to discovering Hawaii's indigenous culture.

Discover more behind Hawaii's approach to telling its own story through the culture and heritage of its people and islands on a dedicated Hawaiian Culture section on the consumer site, or jump straight to watch more Hawaii Rooted Videos.

What is it like to be a black female traveller?

Finally, in an interview conducted earlier in the year with Lola Akinmade Åkerström. She explains that with Black Lives Matter she can finally breathe: "it is something which has been a long time coming". It has meant for her that she doesn't need to keep justifying herself and for the world to draw attention to unconscious bias and speak up for it. Lola explains that having to work twice as hard to achieve the same as someone who isn't black is something that shouldn't be happening in this day in age and this moment of reckoning has been a long time coming. In particular in tourism, where we should be the most open and inclusive industry out there, we still see a lot of bias everywhere and this is something that really needs to change.

Diversity shouldn't be a bad word. It helps us enrich whatever we are doing with a more inclusive, a broader view of the world around us.

If we take on board the experiences and views of many different cultures, we become stronger and have a broader perspective and have a bigger and more complete picture of a place, an experience or a brand. It's always important to diversify the storytellers who paint the picture of a place or destination.

To travel as a black woman means travelling with two perspectives. Travelling as yourself and travelling through the image that society has created for you, the burden of that image and the challenge in terms of how it shapes people's perspectives. Lola explains that it is an unfair burden, something that she would love the privilege of not carrying, but there are differences too as it can sometimes get you closer to a culture or a society as people can also invite you in where they feel closer or more aligned. The burden comes from trying to change society's narrative but Lola embraces the opportunities that come with it.



We would love to see if there are any really interesting multicultural content and storytelling initiatives out there which highlight heritage tourism for travel inspiration?

Here at the DTTT, we love to be challenged to find great examples of best practice, especially when it's on a topic of real importance. The last few years haven't been without controversy, if we think about the polarisation of global politics, movements that have changed our perspective, such as Black Lives Matters, or the often strained relationship we have in society with race and religion, which exists in many parts of the world.

In tourism, we have seen increasing awareness around such topics not as something to shy away from but something to address head-on and celebrate. Tourism is about the exchange of people, cultures, experiences and backgrounds and these very same values are often so deeply rooted in the experience of the destination itself.

Whilst generally business and politics don't go together, one thing that any strong brand can speak to is the importance of values. When we think about this from a destination perspective, we know that values are core to a destination's identity, its unique proposition and the fabric which ties it all together. It's the destination's values, often communicated through experiences and people, which resonate with potential visitors and remain with those who visit.

As destinations, should we focus only on reinforcing an image, which doesn't really match today's reality, or should we use our platform to communicate our values and celebrate the diversity, depth and richness of the destination? Is it controversial to speak up for different communities and give them a voice in our message? Is it right to drive discovery beyond a romanticised view of the destination and skip the real reflection of its people and culture?

If we see tourism as a sort of 'soft diplomacy', can we also see the value of the visitor economy as something which can truly enrich culture and society through discovery? Perhaps an industry made up of amazing people, connections and memories are part of something richer, a healing of souls, a coming together of people, a celebration of difference and rejecting division.

As we increasingly turn to sustainability, 'community is becoming ever more important as a defining factor of what sustainable tourism looks like. With this, destinations are being forced to look deeper at the destination story, to focus on experiences, which bring out the richness and diversity of different cultures, neighbourhoods and communities and in some cases to look back at history, to reflect on a difficult past head-on, through the lens of its contribution to the destination today.

Below, we've pulled together a diverse set of examples, which we think really speak to the cultural diversity celebrated in many destinations.

Visit Philadelphia

Visit Philadelphia's 'The Art of the Pivot' talk is one of our all-time favourite keynotes at the DTTT and she really speaks to this subject in a way that few others have.

Visit Philadelphia also decided to confront the issues of today and address the injustices highlighted by Black Lives Matter. With the belief that Philadelphia grows through its diversity, they decided to take a stand by creating web content and providing tools to help travellers support black and brown owned businesses. This continues to be a priority for Visit Philadelphia, making a statement with their media and brand assets and driving campaigns to directly increase footfall to black and brown owned business. They continue to work hard to raise awareness and use media, such as the podcast Love + Grit, which gives a voice to issues, stories - the lovely and the gritty, through the people, who love and breathe the city.

Talking about Love + Grit, Rachel explains that the podcast is specifically for black and brown travellers. It's authentic, engaging and rich in the diversity of its subject matter. This is an example of a strategic pivot born out of the pandemic. Read the full story.

Black in NYC Experience

Whilst this content feature may not stand out for its web design as a campaign, dig a little deeper and you will discover a rich curation of content, which celebrates NYC's Black community. This is one of the strongest examples of celebrating the contribution of black culture amongst any destination, for its variety, richness and depth of the content spotlighted.

Black culture is integral to the identity of NYC, the city with the largest Black population in the US. Its influence can be felt across the five boroughs in many forms: world-renowned music and style, a celebrated food scene, the visual and performing arts, live experiences, business owners and all who lead the charge in keeping the City progressive, resilient and safe.

With this content series, we spotlight, celebrate and amplify New York City’s Black experience and the community whose cultural contributions reverberate around the globe. Bookmark this page and remember to check back as we will continue to add new content.

The content section on New York's destination pages includes a series of 'Black Owned Neighbourhood Guides', 'Love Letters to NYC' and curated video playlists. This truly is a treasure trove of endless discovery and well worthy of mention.

Helsinki Freedom

The Visit Philadelphia case is a rare example of a City Destination speaking up to its values, in the most unambiguous way possible. This represents a wider trend we are seeing, particularly amongst City Destinations, who are becoming increasingly confident to use their platform to talk about their values. It's a trend that might be considered surprising, as values can often be subjective and polarise opinion, but for those who have successfully done so, they are quite the opposite. Their values are the truest reflection of the city's people, cultures and identities and so often speak to tolerance, openness, diversity and cultural richness.

At Helsinki Marketing they are proud of the values which underpin Finnish society and in particular, the opportunities that Helsinki offers as a city, not just to visit but to live and work in. With this, they created a series together with award-winning documentary filmmakers known as 'Helsinki Freedom' screened first on Instagram through IGTV. This is a collection of short documentaries told by different perspectives of people who have made Helsinki their home, talking about the freedoms they enjoy, well, to be themselves.

Check out the video below and all the Helsinki Freedom stories here.

The Nordic capitals are certainly frontrunners in promoting values, openness and diversity at the core of their brand. More often than not these values are interwoven with the wider brand message, rather than extracted into a theme, category or section on their site. For this reason, identifying specific examples of best practice can be a challenge.

Greenland's Nunarput Nuan

We absolutely love the work of Visit Greenland, a destination, which has been increasingly looking at sustainability from the perspective of cultural heritage and a celebration of Greenlandic culture. When the pandemic struck, they were driven by a surprising innovation curve which led them to look inwards, at the domestic market to develop destination experiences for Greenland's population of just 56,000. We are so proud that the team at Visit Greenland made use of the DTTT's open-source Support Tourism. Impact Real People. brand initiative to create Nuan Staycation Campaign. Their Webby Award-winning video is called 'The Future of Travel' and the entire soundtrack for the video comprises traditional Greenlandic music and the experiences, forming part of the staycation campaign bring the local population closer to their culture and heritage. Find out more about this in our May Trends Chat. We love this because, well, it looks at Greenlandic culture in a way, which is simply, authentic.


Aboriginal Australia

A Vision for Regenerative Tourism

Aboriginal Australia is an interesting example of combining experience development together with the brand, content and story of the destination. One of the things we really like about what Australia is doing here is that in addition to crafting 185 uniquely authentic experiences, they also have a 'Charter of Respect' which guides and helps visitors to understand the aboriginal culture, with education being a really important factor.

Discover Aboriginal Experiences is a collective of over 185 quality, authentic Aboriginal guided tourism offerings. This collective is part of Tourism Australia’s Signature Experiences of Australia Program that packages and promotes Australia’s outstanding tourism products.


Aboriginal culture starts with its people. Aboriginal guides open a door into a world that many people don’t know still exists. A world where past, present and future meet. There’s nothing more exciting for a traveller than a totally new experience. That’s what memories are made of.

Dr Aden Ridgeway, Gumbaynggirr man, and former chair of Indigenous Tourism Australia

Read more by checking out Australian Aboriginal Experiences, industry guidelines and Australian Aboriginal Experiences on australia.com.

We are Aotearoa:


A Vision for Regenerative Tourism

Produced over a 6-month study period, this is a ground-breaking report,  showcases how to build an approach based on actual human-centricity. This approach takes into consideration different players, their needs and relationships and how they align under the same vision for the future of the nation. This is at the basis of applying design-thinking, collaborative methods to developing strategies and solving current challenges to enhance future experiences.

It is outstanding to see how holistic and wholesome the approach is: designing to include the whole industry, region, destination, this way of approaching tourism, completely breaks the silos and integrates the tourism strategy into a broader vision.

BE BOLD, BE BRAVE, BE AUTHENTIC. Tourism is complex. It is a networked ecosystem that touches the lives of all New Zealanders. Tourism has already contributed so much to our nation’s prosperity; we see a future where the domestic and international visitor economy will further enrich wellbeing in all aspects of life in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Read the full DTTT analysis of this here


Indigenous Tourism British Columbia

The Indigenous Tourism Association of British Columbia is a non-profit, membership-based organization that is committed to growing and promoting a sustainable, culturally rich Indigenous tourism industry. They are one of the richest examples of developing a rich and diverse understanding of indigenous culture in any region globally and finding the way to successfully integrating this in partnership with the wider destination brand. Instead of slotting this in as part of the wider destination offer under a 'category' for indigenous culture, they go so much further in helping visitors to understand, interpret and discover indigenous culture through storytelling, experiences, culture, gastronomy and nature. This really is about enriching the destination offer through the lens of the indigenous people, culture and heritage of British Columbia.

Indigenous peoples in British Columbia maintain deep connections to the lands, waters, animals, and supernatural realms of their unique Territories.  These connections are more important now than ever before, as we all realise what Indigenous BC has long known–our health and wholeness are written upon the land.

Further afield. indigenous tourism in Canada is an area, which is becoming increasingly important to get the right balance. Organisations such as Indigenous Tourism Canada are positioned to support and strengthen the development of the indigenous tourism industry through initiatives such as RISE, a recognition programme to help operators meet the increasing demand for indigenous tourism experiences.

Hawaii Rooted

Hawaii Rooted is a beautiful series of videos, also adapted for IGTV, which bring visitors closer to the indigenous culture and language of Hawaii, by introducing different words which communicate meanings.

Beneath the breathtaking natural wonder and exotic beauty unique to each of the Hawaiian Islands, there are vital roots. These are the stories of the people who tend to them. Who cultivate ancient ways of living in harmony with the environment and embrace local and Hawaiian culture with equal parts aloha and responsibility. For the next generation. And for Hawaii to stay rooted.

We love the way this evocative approach to content creation brings visitors closer to discovering Hawaii's indigenous culture.

Discover more behind Hawaii's approach to telling its own story through the culture and heritage of its people and islands on a dedicated Hawaiian Culture section on the consumer site, or jump straight to watch more Hawaii Rooted Videos.

What is it like to be a black female traveller?

Finally, in an interview conducted earlier in the year with Lola Akinmade Åkerström. She explains that with Black Lives Matter she can finally breathe: "it is something which has been a long time coming". It has meant for her that she doesn't need to keep justifying herself and for the world to draw attention to unconscious bias and speak up for it. Lola explains that having to work twice as hard to achieve the same as someone who isn't black is something that shouldn't be happening in this day in age and this moment of reckoning has been a long time coming. In particular in tourism, where we should be the most open and inclusive industry out there, we still see a lot of bias everywhere and this is something that really needs to change.

Diversity shouldn't be a bad word. It helps us enrich whatever we are doing with a more inclusive, a broader view of the world around us.

If we take on board the experiences and views of many different cultures, we become stronger and have a broader perspective and have a bigger and more complete picture of a place, an experience or a brand. It's always important to diversify the storytellers who paint the picture of a place or destination.

To travel as a black woman means travelling with two perspectives. Travelling as yourself and travelling through the image that society has created for you, the burden of that image and the challenge in terms of how it shapes people's perspectives. Lola explains that it is an unfair burden, something that she would love the privilege of not carrying, but there are differences too as it can sometimes get you closer to a culture or a society as people can also invite you in where they feel closer or more aligned. The burden comes from trying to change society's narrative but Lola embraces the opportunities that come with it.


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