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Ethical, diverse, and responsible travel marketing

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We’ve seen it all before – the same stock photos exoticizing places (usually developing countries), the lazy representations of “the locals” in traditional garb, the clichéd aspirational/inspirational quotes. It’s tired, it’s boring, and even worse, some of this stuff is straight up problematic. As marketers and as influencers, we can do better and it’s time that we do.

From the images we use to promote destinations to how we write about people and places so seemingly different from where we call “home”, we have an opportunity (and a responsibility!) to represent our host communities with dignity and respect, to bridge cultures, and create the potential for empathy.

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Ethical, diverse, and responsible travel marketing

  1. 1. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION MOVING BEYOND TIRED CLICHES: ETHICAL, DIVERSE, & RESPONSIBLE MARKETING FOR YOUR TRAVEL BUSINESS
  2. 2. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION HI, I’M JUSTINE! » Communications & Marketing Director for Operation Groundswell » Founder and Editor of Living Hyphen » Social impact space in North & Central America, East Africa, Southeast Asia » Say hi at @justineabigail
  3. 3. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  4. 4. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  5. 5. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  6. 6. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  7. 7. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  8. 8. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  9. 9. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION THE IMPORTANCE OF REPRESENTATION WHY DIVERSITY? WHY REPRESENTATION?
  10. 10. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION » To challenge the mainstream narrative that travelling isn’t something people of colour do. » Because representation allows you to imagine yourself in an experience in a real, physical, and visceral way.
  11. 11. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  12. 12. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  13. 13. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  14. 14. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  15. 15. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  16. 16. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION BUT ALSO BECAUSE ULTIMATELY THE UNBEARABLE WHITENESS OF THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY LIMITS YOUR BUSINESS + BRAND
  17. 17. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  18. 18. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION https://thinknowresearch.com/blog/hispanic- consumers-travel-vacation-trends-infographic/
  19. 19. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION “Over the last three years, the increase [in intent to travel] among African Americans has been pretty significant, going from an increase of about 3 [percentage] points, to 6 points, to 19 points this year.” - Stephen Cohen of travel research group MMGY Global
  20. 20. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  21. 21. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION Learn more right here at WITS!
  22. 22. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION THE IMPORTANCE OF REPRESENTATION HIRE, PUBLISH, FEATURE, PROMOTE & AMPLIFY DIVERSE VOICES & FACES.
  23. 23. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  24. 24. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  25. 25. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION » Beware of generalizing an entire country, culture, and peoples. » Beware of waxing nostalgic for a “lost time” or ancient traditions, or worse, the colonial past. » Beware of projecting your interpretation of another culture. » Beware of patronizing language - “quaint”, “primitive”, “exotic”, “they’re so happy despite having so little”. » Beware of “Other-ing”.
  26. 26. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  27. 27. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  28. 28. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION LOOK FOR UNTOLD STORIES. AMPLIFY UNHEARD VOICES. WRITE COMPELLING TALES.
  29. 29. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION Questions to Consider » Whose stories are you choosing to tell? » Who gets to tell the story? Who are you giving the mic to? » How do your biases influence your writing? What assumptions do you carry?
  30. 30. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  31. 31. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  32. 32. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  33. 33. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  34. 34. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  35. 35. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  36. 36. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  37. 37. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION Key Takeaways » Tell different and more nuanced stories through your writing! » Learn the context of the place you’re writing about. » Share the mic or give it to someone else entirely. » Amplify the voices of people that typically go unheard in mainstream media. » Look for untold stories.
  38. 38. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION POWER DYNAMICS IN TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY
  39. 39. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FS7Z6sFnNY
  40. 40. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION » Beware of essentializing and reducing entire countries, cultures, and peoples to just one story or perspective. » Beware of romanticizing ancient traditions of specific cultures in the face of a globalized world. » Beware of projecting your interpretation of another culture. » Beware the white saviour narrative.
  41. 41. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION https://matadornetwork.com/change/kenyas-maasai-beyond-cliches/
  42. 42. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  43. 43. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  44. 44. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION Questions to Consider » Which subjects/who are you choosing to photograph? What story are you choosing to tell? » Who is at the centre of the photo? Who is leading the action? Who is this really about? » What story does body language and positioning tell? » Would you want a photo like this to be taken of you? a.k.a. does it uphold and protect your subject’s dignity? » What are you choosing to include? What are you cropping out of the photo? » Did you ask for permission? Are you going to share your photo with the subject?
  45. 45. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  46. 46. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  47. 47. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION Humanitarians of Tinder - www.humanitariansoftinder.com
  48. 48. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  49. 49. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  50. 50. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  51. 51. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION “It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.” - Alfred Eisenstaedt
  52. 52. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION Key Takeaways » Tell different and more nuanced stories through your photography! » Put local faces at the forefront of your imagery in a dignified, respectful way. » Pay attention to body language and positioning of subjects. » Be intentional with what photos you take, publish, promote, and share. » Ask permission and share your shots. » Connect your images with your words to go even deeper with your story.
  53. 53. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION “You don’t take a photo, you make it.” - Ansel Adams
  54. 54. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  55. 55. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION
  56. 56. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION SKIP THE CLICHES. COMPLICATE THE MAINSTREAM.
  57. 57. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION LET’S CONNECT! www.operationgroundswell.com justine@operationgroundswell.com Operation Groundswell Justine Abigail Yu @operationgroundswell @justineabigail @OGbackpackers @justineabigail
  58. 58. @JUSTINEABIGAIL OPERATIONGROUNDSWELL.COM @WITSUMMIT @QUEBECREGION #WITS18 #QUEBECREGION Thanks! bit.ly/wits18marketing

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