Few things celebrate culture and diversity more than travel. As editors of a travel site, we pledge to share those things with our readers—but we recognize that we haven’t entirely lived up to that promise and are missing out on the essential diverse perspectives that inform not only how we travel, but how we live.
While we have spoken out against the inequity that our Black readers face in their lives every day, we also owe our readers a concrete plan to make our team and site more inclusive. We are hereby committing to diversifying our team and educating our existing writers and staff on how we can work to make the travel space not just more diverse, but actively anti-racist.
Below, we’ve outlined our plan of action for the coming months and beyond:
Diversify our contributors.
Unlike most travel sites, TripSavvy largely relies on locals who live in the place they write about. However, we recognize that our contributor pool has not always been a diverse representation of the world or a particular city or country’s residents. Beginning today, new recruitment efforts will focus on writers who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and reside in the place they wish to write about. Additionally, we have not and will never discriminate in pay rate for anyone based on their past experiences, background, or geographical location. By Sept. 30, we pledge that at least 20 percent of our new written and visual content will be created by BIPOC, excluding existing members of our editorial team.
Showcase Black-owned businesses and attractions.
We aim to update our existing content library to be more inclusive, showcasing businesses that serve marginalized communities or are owned by Black business owners. Moving forward, all of our roundups will be reviewed to ensure that diverse voices are represented. Additionally, by Nov. 30, we will evaluate articles accounting for 50 percent of our traffic to ensure that they include such businesses, as well as removing problematic companies and attractions, such as plantations and racist monuments.
Speak up within the travel industry.
Our staff members often take part in hosted trips put on by tourism boards, hotels, and other travel businesses. Far too often, there are no Black writers on these trips and rarely a person of color. If that is the case, our team pledges to share post-trip feedback with organizers accordingly. Additionally, when our staff is unable to attend a trip, we commit to sharing the invitation with a writer of color, regardless of whether or not that person will be covering the trip for us or a different publication.
Amplify diverse voices on social media.
We want to feature more diverse travelers on our social media. To start, at least 25 percent of our Instagram stories will feature Black-owned businesses (ranging from tour operators to hotels to restaurants and more), with the end goal of significantly increasing this representation as a whole. Additionally, on Instagram, we will prioritize regramming the work of Black photographers and travelers, prominently crediting them for every post.
We will report on our progress each quarter.
By Sept. 30, we will release a report outlining our progress, our learnings, and future opportunities to improve. We will regularly share our efforts and progress with readers on an ongoing basis, and we look forward to being held accountable for these goals, as well as creating an open dialogue with readers.
We welcome suggestions and questions on the below action points, and referrals for writers, photographers, and other creatives. Please email us at email@example.com. We won’t always get this right, but we thank our readers for supporting us and challenging us to be better.
December 2020 Progress Update
Since releasing our diversity pledge earlier this year, the TripSavvy team has worked to stay true to those promises. Today, we share the progress we’ve made and where we hope to improve further:
As we noted in our pledge, while many of our writers are locals in the place they write about, our contributor pool’s diversity was lacking. We pledged to focus on recruiting BIPOC writers and contributors in earnest, setting a goal that at least 20 percent of our new written and visual content would be created by BIPOC. In the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, we surpassed that goal, with 27 percent of content assigned that quarter written by writers who identify as BIPOC.
We also committed to showcasing Black-owned businesses and attractions and reviewing our content for the promotion of problematic attractions, such as plantations and other racist monuments. The Dotdash Anti-Bias Review Board is currently reviewing more than 1,700 articles that make up the top 50 percent of our site’s traffic and has already evaluated more than 500 articles. We will work to remediate problematic content based on their review.
Additionally, we pledged to showcase Black-owned businesses (ranging from tour operators to hotels to restaurants and more) and creators on Instagram. Since setting our original goal of 25 percent, more than 40 percent of our Instagram stories and posts have highlighted the work of Black small-business owners and Black photographers and travelers.
As we first wrote back in June, we want everyone to feel at home in the world. While our work here is far from finished, we will continue to elevate diverse voices, showcase unique businesses, and encourage justice, equality, and inclusivity for all travelers.
Lastly, thank you to every reader who has reached out with questions, comments, and feedback regarding our pledge and our content. We continue to welcome your thoughts, as well as referrals for writers, photographers, and other creatives.