World Tourism Day 2021 Panel Discussion Recap!

An international panel of industry leaders highlighted how tourism should and will be available for everyone to enjoy. The webinar, hosted by Capilano University’s School of Tourism Management and its student associations, PATA Canada Vancouver Student Chapter and the Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Student Association (TRECSA) attracted nearly 150 attendees during the session.  

Panelists this year included Mary Point (Manager of Indigenous Relations at Vancouver International Airport), Kendall Clancy (Hotel Operations Leader with Fairmont Hotel Vancouver), Rick Hurlbut (LGBTQ+ Travel Consultant), and Judy Kasiama (Founder of Colour the Trails). A variety of personal experiences and best practices pursued by their companies were discussed and evolved around this year’s theme – inclusive growth.  

Mary Point stated that inclusion is the sense of belonging; therefore, tourism activities should be designed and built based on the question of “how to bring everyone to this event?”. Judy Kasiama agreed on this opinion as she shared “Colour the Trail was meant to promote diversity by listening and working with the community, to deliver the sense of belonging to everyone.” Rick and Kendall also commented that “one of the best ways to spread a sense of belonging to the community is being able to listen to their narrative.” Judy added how “people need to be uncomfortable with the discomfort and be able to reclaim themselves.”  

Attendees also learned from the panel discussion about a new trend in tourism where people want to learn and connect with the land now more than ever. Mary shared that “Indigenous tourism was the fastest-growing sector before the event of Covid-19. Therefore, now that the industry is starting to pick up again, everyone believes that getting tourists involved in this new trend will generate many immersive values.” 

Students and attendees were then able to ask direct questions to the panelists through the Q&A session. The event has successfully honoured the 2021 World Tourism Day. Capilano University students, as well as guests, valued the chance to engage in insightful tourism-related discussion.  

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