Romey Louangvilay, board president for Travel Unity, speaks at a 2018 summit in Lake Placid.
(Photo provided)

LAKE PLACID — The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is participating in a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) pilot program with Travel Unity.

Travel Unity, a nonprofit focused on diversity in travel, recently launched diversity, equity and inclusion standards for travel and tourism. The standards were developed with the input from more than 100 professionals across a variety of industries. The DEI Standards aim to assist travel companies and organizations in benchmarking their commitment to enhancing DEI in three primary categories, management and workforce, visitorship and community impact, and serve as a road map for future efforts.

In August 2020, Travel Unity invited tourism organizations that were “serious about change” to apply for the pilot of a DEI Certification Program. ROOST was selected to be one of five travel-based organizations from across the globe to participate in the inaugural program.

“We feel that the opportunity to participate in the pilot certification program will provide us with the tools to truly move the dial with regard to topics relating to diversity,” Mary Jane Lawrence, ROOST chief operating officer, said in a statement. “Partnering with Travel Unity will allow us to take a holistic approach to being more inclusive as an organization, and in the work we do within the Adirondack region.”

ROOST has also started to connect with area chambers of commerce and other community organizations to build a network within the region to help advance these initiatives.

“This is a great opportunity,” Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce Director Patrick Murphy said in a statement. “Having the ability to learn and grow as an organization and as a region will help make our communities more welcoming. We look forward to working with ROOST and Travel Unity.”

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