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Building Inclusive Tourism

Building Inclusive Tourism: Monthly Webinar Series

This monthly webinar series will provide the tourism industry with education, information, and resources on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).

These lunch-and-learn sessions will occur on the second or third Wednesday of each month in 2022. Each session will be produced and lead by a recognized expert providing thought leadership in the field of DEI.

Building Inclusive Tourism: Upcoming Sessions

December 14: Marketing & Advertising Tips

Session Information: Head of Creative from Marketing Agency to share the value of representation in the work produced for public comsumption. The effectiveness and ability to change preception, understanding and economic return.

Guest Speaker: TBD

Moderator: Debra Mansillo Vice President, Industry Relations and International Marketing, DESTINATION ONTARIO




Past Sessions

October 26: 50/30 Challenge for Boards

Session Information:

The 50 – 30 Challenge is an initiative between the Government of Canada, Canadian businesses and diversity organizations.

The goal of the program is to challenge Canadian organizations to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within their workplaces, while highlighting the benefits of giving all Canadians a seat at the table.

The 50 – 30 Challenge asks that organizations aspire to two goals:

  • Gender parity (50% women and/or non-binary people) on Canadian boards and/or in senior management; and
  • Significant representation (30%) on Canadian boards and/or senior management of members of other equity-deserving groups, including those who identify as Racialized, Black, and/or People of colour (“Visible Minorities”), People with disabilities (including invisible and episodic disabilities), 2SLGBTQ+ and/or gender and sexually diverse individuals, and Aboriginal and/or Indigenous Peoples. The program and participants recognize Indigenous Peoples, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit, as founding Peoples of Canada and underrepresented in positions of economic influence and leadership.


Guest Speaker

Dr. Wendy Cukier
Founder & Academic Director of the Diversity Institute,
Academic Director of the Women Entrepreneurship Hub; and
Research Lead of the Future Skills Centre





September 14: Back to School - How to Work with Post-Secondary to Support a Diverse Workforce

Session Recording Coming Soon!

Session Information: Join Michelle Caine, Centennial College, in a discussion with a panel of experts to discuss how one can work with Ontario post-secondary educators to hire and mentor the growing number of international students studying tourism programs.

Expert Panelists:  Kristy Adams, Program Coordinator and Professor at Humber College & Michael Agema, CEO AGEMA Work and the perspective of an International Student Graduate.

Moderator: Michelle Caine - MBA Academic Chair, Hospitality Management Centennial College

June 8: Advancing Our Knowledge - Always Learning

Session Recording Coming Soon!

Session Information:
In January we learned the importance of why we needed to support having more Indigenous people in the Tourism Economy, in our session Enriching Tourism by Embracing the Original Hosts of the Land. How we have done in the last 5 months and what are the next steps in advancing our knowledge and understanding? ​

What does it mean? Going beyond the Land Acknowledgement?  ​

Learn alongside us as we gain knowledge by listening to the experts share how we can take the next steps in supporting having more Indigenous people in the Tourism Economy.​



Naokwegijig (Tim McGregor)

Mukwa Dodem
Wiigwaaskinaga doonjiba

My name is Tim McGregor and consider myself to be a traditional Anishinabenini who dances the Northern Traditional style of dance.

I have been involved with jiingtamok, sometimes known as pow wows, for many decades and gained considerable knowledge of the history and teachings.

After a lengthy career of First Nation public service in Federal, Provincial, State, Tribal Council, and private sectors my focus is on sharing the culture and traditions of the Anishinabek. As part of a multi-generational, home-based family business called Rolling Thunder Dance Traditions the splendor of our culture is shared through cultural teachings, regalia making teachings, dance teachings, custom regalia, and custom dance performances of the Pow Wow.

May 11: Job Vacancies?  Consider the Disability Talent Pool

Session Recording

Session Information: 

Hiring people with disabilities isn’t “doing the right thing.”  It’s “doing the right thing for business.”  The true value for organizations doesn’t come from ticking the right boxes, but from accessing the benefits of an inclusive environment.  

The business opportunity is irrefutable. Employing people with disabilities means better performance.  There is not one industry in which people with disabilities are unable to work. There are as many opportunities as there are businesses, and you can access work-ready individuals who are prepared to positively contribute to their communities, often without extra costs on accommodations. You can broaden your pool of skilled candidates across all industries by including people with disabilities.  

You won’t have to lower the bar – just open your door a little bit wider.


  • Fatima Finnegan, Vice President, Workforce Initiatives & Industry Relations, ORHMA
  • Donald Guse Salah, Program Manager for the Discover Ability Network, Ontario Chamber of Commerce
  • Meghan Phillips-Smith, Historical Researcher, Know History

April 13: Best Practices of Integrating DEI Principles at the DMO Level

Session Recording

Session Information: This webinar features best practices of integrating DEI principles at the DMO level. The session will begin with a presentation from Greg DeShields, Executive Director of Tourism Diversity Matters, after which Rebecca Godfrey will moderate a discussion with Explore Edmonton on the status of their journey to build a more inclusive tourism industry.

Guest Speakers:

  • Greg DeShields, Executive Director of Tourism Diversity Matters
  • Paul Hawes - VP, Destination Development and Marketing, Explore Edmonton
  • Kristen Foster, CMP - Senior Event Manager, Edmonton Convention Centre

Moderator: Rebecca Godfrey - Senior Strategic Consultant at Destination Think!

March 9: LGBT+ Overview and Case Study

Session Recording


Session Information: It's estimated that Canadian LGBT+  travellers contribute $12 billion annually to the global travel market. Learn some of the ways your business can become more inclusive to one of the world's largest travel markets by addressing the needs of both your internal team who identify as LGBT+ as well as potential LGBT+ customers. Our webinar will: 1) identify which individuals are included in this broad market, 2) address the use of inclusive language, 3) outline ways  businesses can become more inclusive, 4) outline available programs to assist you and 5) will provide a case study from Destination Kingston on their journey to become more LGBT+ inclusive.


Guest Speakers: 

  • Loren Christie – Tourism/Hospitality Expert
  • TJ Jones - Founding Consultant, Full Picture Management
  • Allyson Tonelli - Director of Sales, Tourism Kingston

February 16, 2022: Better Business Discovery Process

Session Recording


Session Information: Building better business through diversity, equity, and inclusion starts with each individual assessing the past, present and future to identify opportunities to improve, adapt and shift. This workshop will provide the steps to conduct a discovery within your own operations and businesses to identify current gaps. You will gain insights through hearing about other’s experiences in the marketplace as we share best practice stories and examples of how adjusting your business to be more inclusive lead to better business success.


Guest Speakers: 

  • Niyoka McIntosh - Co-founder of Unpack Consulting; Wellness Vacation Specialist and owner of Vacation Your Way 
  • Shalene Dudley, CTA, WPICC, PMP - Lead Travel Concierge at Latitude Concierge Travels, Ltd.
  • Maria Ines - Director of Agent Experience & Loyalty, Independent by Flight Centre

Moderator: Maxine Gundermann - Market Sales Manager, Eastern Ontario, Celebrity Cruises, Inc.

January 12, 2022: DEI 101

Session Recording


Michael Bach - What is diversity in tourism? Presentation

Understanding the Narrative - tips and takeaways for understanding how we can work together in Tourism.  What can be perceived as offensive? What are some key phrases - knowledge of language?   How can I implement this support within my own business?

Kevin Eshkawkogan - Indigenous Tourism ON Presentation

Enriching Tourism by Embracing the Original Hosts of the Land

ITO partnered with MDB Insight to study the impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous tourism in Ontario and found resilience, optimism, and untapped potential.  We need to support having more Indigenous people in the Tourism Economy.  Why is this important?  What are we seeing?  Join Kevin Eshkawkogan as Kevin shares teachings, and understanding of why this is important.

Quick Access: Webinar Registration Links