Holding Hands | Tourism Nanaimo
Holding Hands | Tourism Nanaimo

Driving Inclusion: Tourism Nanaimo’s 2SLGBTQIA+ Journey

Welcome to the next chapter of Tourism Nanaimo’s journey towards fostering a more inclusive destination. The 2SLGBTQ+ Travel webpage is a big digital step in our journey. This blog post highlights our ongoing commitment to 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion and the steps we’re taking to drive meaningful change within the community.

We’ve learned that behind every successful diversity and inclusion initiative lies a foundation of policy, education, and community connection. The tourism industry can inspire change, strengthening local and visitor communities. Tourism Nanaimo understands that true inclusivity requires more than simply marketing to 2SLGBTQ+ individuals; it requires a deeper understanding of the community’s needs and experiences.

Nanaimo 2SLGBTQIA+ Experience Survey

To help achieve this, Tourism Nanaimo partnered with the Nanaimo Pride Society and the Nanaimo Hospitality Association to bring the 2SLGBTQIA+ Experience Survey to Nanaimo for the first time in 2023. This groundbreaking initiative marked the first of its kind in the city, aiming to capture the diverse perspectives of queer, trans, and allied visitors and residents.

The survey delved into participants’ lived experiences, asking about their demographics, travel habits, and the intricacies of their encounters in Nanaimo, from exploring the inclusivity of local amenities to understanding the nuances of cultural inclusivity. Moreover, the survey provided a platform for respondents to voice their feedback and suggestions, offering invaluable insights into areas where improvement and change were needed. The survey results were summarized and shared in the The survey results were summarized and shared in the 2023 2SLGBTQ+ Inclusion Impact Report.

Ongoing Education

Tourism Nanaimo regularly invests in comprehensive inclusion training for its internal team and external industry stakeholders.

In partnership with the Nanaimo Hospitality Association (NHA) and the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Nanaimo also facilitates a range of specialized training sessions to enhance understanding and competency in 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion. These sessions cover various topics, including 2SLGBTQ+ Inclusive Tourism leadership training, 2SLGBTQIA+ Inclusive Service training, and 2SLGBTQ+ Experience Development Workshops. Led by local 2SLGBTQIA+ Inclusion consultant Lauren Semple, these sessions provide invaluable insights and practical strategies for creating inclusive spaces and experiences.

Tourism Nanaimo also hosts 2SLGBTQIA+ Inclusion Strategy sessions, bringing together industry leaders and stakeholders to collaboratively develop strategies and best practices for advancing 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion in the tourism sector. And the wider community. 

Inclusive Policy

In 2023, Tourism Nanaimo took proactive steps to update existing anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies to ensure gender-inclusive language and policy, appropriate terminology, and alignment with the BC Human Rights Code.  Tourism Nanaimo also introduced a robust gender inclusion policy to foster an environment of inclusivity and respect for trans, non-binary and gender-non-conforming staff, volunteers and guests. These policies provide access to gender-inclusive facilities and establish clear expectations regarding inclusive language, preferred names and personal pronouns.

What’s Next? Rainbow Registered Accreditation!

A milestone along Tourism Nanaimo’s journey in 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion is its pursuit of Rainbow Registered accreditation. Rainbow Registered is a national accreditation for 2SLGBTQIA+-friendly businesses and organizations. The prestigious Rainbow Registered symbol is only provided to companies or organizations that meet stringent standards to ensure 2SLGBTQIA+ guests feel safe, welcomed, and accepted. Stay tuned for more news about this exciting development!

Read the Full Impact Report

For a comprehensive overview of Tourism Nanaimo’s 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion efforts and their impact, we invite you to read the 2023 2SLGBTQ+ Inclusion Impact Report. This report provides valuable insights into the organization’s initiatives and the 2023 2SLGBTQIA+ Experience Survey results.



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