12 Travel Experiences That Focus on Diversity and Representation

Latinx travelers in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. (Photo courtesy DarioGaona/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
Alex Temblador
by Alex Temblador
Last updated: 8:00 AM ET, Sun January 29, 2023

Travel Experiences That Focus on Diversity and Representation

More and more people are looking for ways to celebrate diversity and representation in business -- so why not do the same with travel? We've put together a list of amazing 2023 travel experiences -- festivals, tours, events, hotels, and destinations -- that relate to diversity, identity, and equity. Whether you check out these experiences or not, we hope they inspire you to celebrate diversity and representation when you travel.

FABA Festival in Barbados

The FABA Festival (For Alumni, By Alumni Festival) is a festival for alumni of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUS) and it will be held for the first time in Barbados on June 15-18. There will be a host of events, mixers, and fun during FABA Fest, including an Alumni Engagement Leadership Summit, live music shows by some of the best HBCU DJs, a golf tournament, Bajan polo match, homecoming-inspired beach tailgate, and oceanside barbecue. A portion of the proceeds from the festival will go to scholarship funds for HBCU students.

Over 100 Indigenous experiences through Intrepid Travel

This year, Intrepid Travel will be offering over 100 Indigenous experiences in its tour portfolio. Some of the newest Indigenous experiences include the five-day "Walk Queensland's Scenic Rim" trip in Australia which will be led by an Ugarapul and Bidjara man named Gurruhmun "Old Man Kangaroo." In Latin America, there is an Indigenous shaman visit during the "Mayan Encounter" tour in Guatemala and a Mayan village medicinal garden visit and textile weaving workshop during the "Real Central America" itinerary. Whether you want to have an Indigenous experience in Kenya, Mexico, or Australia, know that Intrepid Travel is committed to putting your tourism dollars back into Indigenous communities.

Rainbow Spring in Miami Beach

This March, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau will launch the Rainbow Spring program which is designed to provide unique programming and promotional offers to LGBTQ+ visitors. Travelers can go to the Rainbow Spring website to see the most up-to-date offerings, like 20% off your stay at AxelBeach Miami through June 21. Events during Rainbow Spring include the Wynwood Pride, Out in the Tropics' LatinXOXO, which celebrates the Latine LGBTQ+ community, the No, Fear, We're Queer Comedy Festival and the Sizzle Miami event for queer folks of color. AxelBeach Miami and Hotel Gaythering will host many of Rainbow Spring's smaller events like karaoke, trivia night, bingo, martini night, and more.

Sail to Prevail in Newport

From mid-June to mid-August, approximately 1,000 people with disabilities will make their way to Newport, Rhode Island, to learn to sail on a fleet of adapted, 20-foot sailboats. The event is called Sail to Prevail and has been around since 1982. The program is open to children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities, PTSD, cancer, emotional disabilities, epilepsy, and life-threatening conditions. All docks and facilities are 100% accessible.

Even if you don't have a disability or qualify for these programs, you can always donate to the program or visit Newport in the summer and watch the sailboats in the bay.

Attend the only American music festival run by women

Did you know that Columbia, Missouri, is home to the only American music festival run by women? It's called the Roots N Blues Festival and it'll be held from September 29-October 1,2023. This year's line up includes the likes of Wilco, Jon Batiste, Chaka Khan, and more. Book your ticket now to see some amazing hip-hop, pop, bluegrass, and folk artists and support the women who make this event happen.

Visit the largest Kurdish community in North America

Nashville has a lot more to experience than country music --like Little Kurdistan, home to the largest Kurdish community in North America. The Kurdish people are an Iranian ethnic group who call the Kurdistan mountain region of Western Asia home. The group has suffered discrimination, genocide, and persecution in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran which led many to find refuge in Nashville starting in 1976.

Little Kurdistan is located in South Nashville and is home to 20,000 Kurdish descendants. Here visitors can delve into the Kurdish culture via shops and restaurants like Edessa Restaurant and House of Kabob. Just this month, Nashville put up a historical marker in relation to the Kurdish community near the Salahadeen Center along Nolensville Pike. If you visit Nashville in March, don't miss a chance to celebrate Kurdish Heritage Month through a variety of events across the city.

Attend one of the largest Latino festivals in the country

Chicago has a vibrant Latino community and they celebrate it every year during Fiesta Del Sol. The free four-day festival is a family-friendly (alcohol and tobacco-free) event that covers eight blocks in the Pilsen neighborhood. There is a Ferris Wheel, over 100 food booths, live music, and tons of fun. Fiesta Del Sol draws over 1.3 million people every year making it the largest Latino Festival of its kind in the country. This year, it will be held July 27-30th, so book your ticket to Chicago now. You don't want to miss a chance to celebrate the diversity of the Latine community at this festival.

Experience the Impact Hospitality Initiative in Baltimore

Baltimore's tourism and hospitality community has done so much to increase diversity and representation, and the Impact Hospitality Initiative is one of the city's most exciting endeavors. Donte Johnson, the general manager of Hotel Revival, coined the term "Impact Hospitality," which means creating a positive influence on guests and the community through a set of social impact programs.

So how did Hotel Revival do this? They started in 2020 by hiring a Director of Culture & Impact, and partnered with local businesses that were Black and women-owned. For instance, they stock Lor Tush's bamboo toilet paper and Black Acres Roastery coffee in rooms. By partnering with local businesses to provide products in their hotel, Hotel Revival is making a social impact on their community and introducing guests to Baltimore brands.

Hotel Revivals' Impact Hospitality Initiative isn't the only DEI initiative in Baltimore. Visit Baltimore has a Warm Welcome Pledge that provides DEI training tools to Baltimore businesses and attractions who sign up. The training covers topics on accessibility, the LGBTQIA+ community, and discussions on race/ethnicity.

When you visit Baltimore this year and stay at Hotel Revival or support those who've signed the Warm Welcome Pledge, you'll show other destinations why such initiatives matter.

Go on a Mexico City food tour that helps women and children

Eat Like a Local Mexico City is a phenomenal food tour company known for tours like the Flower Market Brunch and Mezcal Tasting, a 3.5-hour walking, food, and drink tour through the Condesa neighborhood. After experiencing a domestic violence situation, owner Rocio Vazquez Landeta wanted to use her company to help empower other women. She does this by hiring an all-women staff and providing them with flexible work times and benefits. Prior to this, Vazquez Landeta also used funds from tours to create social programs at La Merced Market to provide English lessons and monthly educational activities to children.

As Vazquez Landeta continues to grow her tour company, travelers can support her initiatives to empower local women and give them a career opportunity in tourism. Be sure to book a tour with Eat Like a Local Mexico City on your next trip to Mexico City!

Visit the International African American Museum when it opens

The International African American Museum broke ground in Charleston, South Carolina, in January 2020, and will be open to visitors this year. The museum will tell the stories of Africans who were brought to the U.S. and how they retained and adapted their cultural and knowledge systems in the Americas. Visitors will learn about different Black individuals and their descendants in South Carolina, the U.S., and the African Diaspora. Although the museum was expected to open in January 2023, the opening has been postponed and is expected to welcome visitors sometime in the first half of 2023.

MountNoire Luxe Ski Week

MountNoire is a travel community that was started by a group of five Black British women seeking to bring more diversity and representation to winter sports. Every year, they create ski and snowboarding trips and invite people of historically marginalized races (who are of any gender and from anywhere in the world) to join them on the slopes. At the end of March, MountNoire is hosting a trip to Val Thorens, France, for seven days. Rooms, transfers, lift passes, spa access, equipment hire, and two lessons are included. If you can't make the Val Thorens trip, sign up for the MountNoire newsletter or follow them on social media to be the first to know about their next trip.

Marriott Bonvoy Diversity Experiences in Asia Pacific

Are you a Marriott Bonvoy member traveling to Asia Pacific this year? Do we have the scoop for you! As you know, members can use their Marriott Bonboy points to bid for the chance to take part in Marriott Bonvoy Moments, exclusive experiences across the globe. This year, Marriott Bonvoy Asia Pacific is offering a variety of Marriott Bonvoy Moments that celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion,

In celebration of Pride, Marriott Bonvoy members can bid on a range of experiences across Marriott hotels in Sydney for WorldPride or at W Hotels, like W Bangkok and W Koh Samui, in Thailand in June. At The Gay Games in Hong Kong in November, Marriott Bonvoy will be providing a tailored "Feel Your Pride and Share Your Love" package across 13 hotels. Those who get the package receive exclusive Pride-themed experiences, city offers, and a welcome gift.

Marriott Bonvoy members can also celebrate the sheer talent of women in tennis at the Australian Open with unique experiences. Members can bid for Superbox tickets to the Women's Final and tennis clinics with 2022 AO winner, Ash Barty. Other experiences they can bid on include tickets to marquee matches in the Women's finals, meet and greet Australian tennis legends, and photos opps with Daphne Akhurst.

Want to travel with inclusivity and diversity in mind in 2023? We've got the scoop.

Topics From This Media to Explore

Related Articles

Get To Know Us Better

Agent At Home

Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

Subscribe For Free

Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me
Agent At Home

Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

Subscribe For Free

Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me