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Diverse Workforces, Happy Customers: 5 Major Benefits of Inclusion in Hospitality and Tourism

Posted on 28 March 2023

Industry Insight


The hospitality and tourism industry is one of the most diverse sectors in the world, serving a vast array of customers from different backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities. 

Hospitality and tourism organisations that embrace diversity in the workplace are well poised to provide exceptional service, as they understand customer needs from a variety of perspectives. At its core, creating an inclusive working environment allows companies within this vital sector to capitalise on their greatest asset: employees who bring valuable insights based upon diverse cultures and nationalities.


Discover the many ways in which workplace diversity can be leveraged for success in hospitality and tourism businesses around the world.

Key benefits of diversity in the hospitality and tourism sector



Having a diverse workforce means hospitality venues can better cater to the needs of their customers. Employees who can communicate in different languages, understand different cultural nuances, and respect different religious beliefs can provide a superior customer experience. Customers appreciate being served by people who understand their culture and can relate to them. 


According to a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), travel and tourism companies that are diverse and inclusive have a competitive advantage, with employees who are 20% more productive and customers who are 20% more satisfied. This increased productivity can be attributed to a number of factors, including the fact that employees in diverse and inclusive companies are more engaged and motivated, and feel valued and respected in their work environment.


The report also found that customers of diverse and inclusive companies were 20% more satisfied than customers of non-diverse companies. This increased customer satisfaction can be attributed to the fact that diverse and inclusive companies are better able to cater to the needs and preferences of their diverse customer base. When customers feel understood and valued, they are more likely to be loyal to a business and recommend it to others.


In addition to the productivity and customer satisfaction benefits, the report also highlighted the fact that companies in the travel and tourism industry that are diverse and inclusive are better able to adapt to changing market conditions and customer preferences. This adaptability is crucial in an industry that is constantly evolving and facing new challenges.


Overall, the WTTC report reinforces the importance of diversity and inclusion in the travel and tourism industry. By creating a more inclusive and welcoming work environment, companies in this industry can benefit from increased productivity, higher customer satisfaction, and improved adaptability to changing market conditions.




Diversity in the workplace can bring fresh perspectives and ideas that can drive creativity and innovation. Different cultures and backgrounds have different ways of looking at things, and this can lead to unique and innovative solutions to problems. Having a diverse team means that businesses can draw from a wider pool of knowledge, experience, and creativity. 


A study conducted by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity in their executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability.


There are several reasons why companies with more diverse leadership teams tend to perform better financially. One is that diversity brings a wider range of perspectives to the table, which can lead to better decision-making and innovation. When people from different backgrounds and with different experiences work together, they are more likely to come up with new ideas and approaches.


Another reason is that diversity can improve a company's ability to connect with a wider range of customers. When a company's leadership team is more diverse, they are better able to understand the needs and preferences of a broader range of customers, which can lead to better products and services, and increased customer loyalty.


The McKinsey study is just one of many that have demonstrated the business case for diversity in the workplace. By embracing diversity and creating an inclusive work environment, companies in the hospitality and tourism industry can benefit from increased financial performance, better decision-making, and improved customer satisfaction.




A diverse workplace can help retain employees by creating a more inclusive and welcoming work environment. Employees who feel valued and respected are more likely to stay with a company. A diverse workplace can also help attract new talent, as people from different backgrounds are more likely to want to work in an environment that celebrates diversity - in fact, the National Restaurant Association of America found that restaurants with more diverse workforces were more likely to report increased sales and profits


Specifically, their survey found that restaurants with above-average diversity in their workforce were more likely to report higher sales compared to restaurants with below-average diversity. Additionally, restaurants with above-average diversity were more likely to report increased profits over the previous year.


There are several reasons why diversity in the workforce may be linked to increased sales and profits in the hospitality sector. One is that diverse teams are better able to understand and cater to the needs of a diverse customer base. When an establishment's workforce reflects the diversity of its customer base, it is better equipped to provide high-quality service and meet the needs of a wide range of customers.


Another reason is that diverse teams may be more creative and innovative. By bringing together people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, a diverse workforce is better equipped to come up with new ideas and approaches to business challenges.



Businesses that prioritise diversity and inclusivity in their workplace can improve their reputation and attract a wider customer base. People are more likely to support a business that reflects their values and beliefs. A diverse workplace can also help businesses build relationships with different communities and stakeholders. According to a report by Cornell University, companies in the hospitality industry that have more diverse workforces are better equipped to serve their diverse customer base, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.



When a team is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds, it can create an environment that fosters a variety of perspectives and innovative ideas. This can lead to more effective problem-solving and decision-making processes. Each team member has a unique set of experiences, skills, and knowledge that can enrich discussions and bring fresh viewpoints to the table.

Diversity can encourage open-mindedness and an appreciation for different viewpoints. This, in turn, can lead to more robust and thorough discussions, and through a respectful exchange of ideas, team members can gain a deeper understanding of the challenges at hand and identify creative solutions.

Moreover, diversity can bring a breadth of knowledge and expertise, which can enhance a team's collective skill set. With a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, team members can contribute different approaches to problem-solving, leading to more effective decision-making.


Celebrate diversity, celebrate success


A diverse workplace is essential in the hospitality and tourism industry. Businesses that prioritise diversity and inclusivity in their workforce can improve their customer experience, drive innovation and creativity, improve employee retention, enhance their reputation, and improve problem-solving and decision-making. Fostering diversity in the workplace is not only the right thing to do but also makes good business sense.


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