On a global scale, while we are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism sector continues to be severely impacted by the decrease in travel. In the United States, there’s another pandemic rising: racial inequality that has resurfaced in the tragedy of George Floyd.
Currently, it’s Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S.- a month that celebrates the Hispanic ancestry, history, culture, and the achievements of Hispanics. However, there’s still a noticeable absence of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the travel industry. How can the private and public sector of tourism, keep the representation of Hispanics and Latinx alive long after this holiday ends?
First, it’s important to understand that Hispanics and Latinx make up a large part of the U.S. population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are an estimated 60.6 million Hispanics in the United States as of July 2019. Today, Hispanics in America make up approximately 18.5% of the current population.
Second, it’s imperative to pay attention to the diverse racial and ethnic identities within the Hispanic and Latinx demographic. There’s still a debate on the correct identification, whether it’s Hispanics, Latinos, or Latinx.
Lastly, we can recognize the vital economic role that Hispanics have in every industry. Hispanics and Latinx contribute a lot to the economy with their spending and buying power in the U.S. alone. A recent study by The Hispanic Star estimates the buying power of Hispanics to be valued at $1.7 trillion.
How does that correlate to tourism? Let’s take a closer look at leisure travel in the U.S. Recently, researchers at MMGY Global found that $114 billion of leisure travel was spent by 13% Latinx travelers. That’s just one study that further shows the value between travel, Hispanics and Latinx. Now more than ever, it’s a great time to rethink what improvements can be made to increase the Hispanic representation within and outside of the travel sector.
Journalist, Jet Set with Jeannette