Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) is committed to fostering an environment of inclusion, diversity, openness, and respect for the many differences that enrich our regions, including race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, socioeconomic status, national origin, language, sexual orientation, body type, and disability. This effort is essential to our organization and the Adirondack communities we serve.
Travel Unity Certification
In 2020, ROOST partnered with Travel Unity as a member of the first cohort for Travel Unity’s DEI Standards for Travel and Tourism certification program. The certification is aimed to assist travel companies and organizations in benchmarking their commitment to enhancing DEI in three primary categories – management and workforce, visitorship, and community impact.
ROOST identified the Travel Unity Certification Program as an opportunity to ensure that our organization fosters an open and inclusive work environment, promotes and welcomes a diverse traveler, and ultimately, creates a more diverse Adirondack community.
To help ROOST weave DEI Standards into our program of work, we have formed a DEI committee made of ROOST team members. The committee meets monthly to review the progress made and set upcoming goals.
Initiatives and Goals
The following are goals and initiatives that ROOST has undertaken to support inclusiveness in the Adirondacks. Check back as we continue to update these initiatives.
- Host regular DEI staff training covering a variety of topics
- Ongoing training and development
- Work to bring educational programming to our regional marketing partners
- ROOST was the gold sponsor of the Travel Unity Summit which was hosted in Lake Placid on November 5-7, 2021.
- Build relationships with and pitch stories to travel writers and influencers that appeal to a diverse audience
- In May 2021, we hosted Ernest White II of “Fly Brother”
- In June 2021, The Wild Center and ROOST partnered to host Cory Lee from Curb Free with Cory Lee
- Foster relationships with diverse travel ambassadors to help create authentic content (images, stories, testimonials, etc.) for the regional websites
- In July 2021, ROOST hosted a familiarization (FAM) trip of diverse travelers in Indian Lake, NY. In addition to traditional travel experiences, the group will participate in a roundtable discussion during their stay to provide valuable feedback on areas we can address to make the Adirondack more welcoming.
- Review marketing efforts through the lens of DEI
- Increased effort to acquire authentic imagery to be inclusive of different races, gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, and more which will be used as part of our marketing efforts. If you wish to participate please learn how to join our model roster.
- Explore the development of translated landing pages for different languages
- Identify and develop website resources that more clearly display accessible amenities
- Survey businesses and attractions on accessibility amenities to update ROOST managed destination websites, ILNY, and Visit Adirondacks
- Add new accessible travel pages to all ROOST managed destination sites
- Develop story content to support accessible travel
- Acquire supporting photo and video content
- Update alternative text on all websites to increase accessibility