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AAPI Voices in the Travel Industry

In response to the horrific events that have been affecting the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, U.S. Travel recently hosted an important discussion about race and diversity.


Featured speakers for the conversation included Erin Francis-Cummings, president & CEO, Destination Analysts; Layton Han, CEO, ADARA Inc.; Keiko Matsudo Orrall, executive director, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism; and Greg Takehara, CEO, Tourism Cares.


Those who tuned in heard speakers share their experiences in navigating inclusivity and belonging within the travel industry and the U.S. as a whole. This candid conversation provided personal perspectives on the recent surge of hate crimes towards the AAPI community, the increased xenophobia since the beginning of the pandemic and offered tips for how leaders of all backgrounds can respond.


U.S. Travel also provided actionable steps and some AAPI support resources as a starting point.


Actionable Steps:

  • CHECK IN with your AAPI friends, colleagues, business partners, etc.
  • START A DIALOGUE with your company on how to help the AAPI community and stand in solidarity with your colleagues.
  • SUPPORT local Asian-American owned businesses/attractions.
  • EDUCATE YOURSELF on the issues.
  • BE AN ALLY. If you see something, speak up—bystander training is available with helpful tools.
  • DONATE your time and/or money if you can.


Some organizations that provide both education and help for the AAPI community:

  • AAJC—Asian Americans Advancing Justice | A non-profit with many chapters around the country started in 1991, serving as a voice of advocacy in the AAPI Community.
  • AALDEF—Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund | Provides education and resources of AAPI community searching legal help as well as education for the community in how to help serve the community.
  • Act to Change—Non-profit aimed towards educating the public about the rise in bullying AAPI youth have faced; provides toolkits and event curriculum to educate adults and youth alike about how to respond to racism and bullying.
  • Hate is a Virus—Started as a direct response to the rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community due to COVID-19; one of the largest community movements used to amplify and activate the community by hosting educational events, providing resources and speaking out.
  • NAPAWF—National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum | Advocate for educating and providing resources for Asian American women; a go-to resource following the Atlanta spa hate crime.
  • Stop AAPI Hate—Created in response to the rise in xenophobia towards the AAPI community; offers a five-pronged approach, supported by well-known AAPI figures and scheduled multiple rallies across the country.
  • Welcome to Chinatown—Small grassroots organization that has become a leader in providing resources to specifically Manhattan, Chinatown to provide resources for long term sustainability and reclaiming the narrative surrounding Chinatown; created in response to the huge impact COVID-19 had on Chinatown businesses.


To view the conversation in its entirety, click here.


Courtesy of Groups Today.


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