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Global Traveler Announces the Winners of the 2023 Outstanding Diversity & Inclusion in Travel Awards

by Mary Melnick

Dec 12, 2023


December 2023

For its third year, Global Traveler awards the airline, cruise line and hotel brand best representing diversity, equity and inclusion within the travel industry. Over the past year Global Traveler analyzed many airlines, cruise lines and hotel brands to determine which companies prove most committed to changing the world through diversity and inclusion.

Within the travel industry, diversity entails identifying and addressing blind spots in ethnic disparities, from providing resources to travel industry workers to educating and launching new initiatives within the company and inspiring other companies to enact similar practices. Inclusion within the travel industry means welcoming all individuals despite their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age, as well as providing access to all resources available within the company.

Global Traveler staff and Advisory Board members nominated travel companies, considering an array of factors and elements. After researching various factors relating to the nominated companies’ equity, diversity and inclusion practices and inviting our Globility Board, a focus group of our subscribers, to chime in, Global Traveler is proud to announce this year’s winners. Congratulations to the winning brands!


For the second year in a row, Global Traveler rewards United Airlines for Outstanding Diversity & Inclusion in Travel, Airline. In the business of bringing people together, United Airlines remains committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace as well as a more inclusive world.

For employees and administration, United earns recognition for achieving and maintaining near-perfect pay equality for employees of all genders and races in comparable roles across U.S. operations. To enhance its DEI leadership, the airline created the Executive Council on DEI, led by its president, Brett Hart, with a full executive team meeting monthly to ensure it’s on the right track. United also created the initiative “We Stand United,” an officer-led collaborative team put together to build and implement a systemwide DEI strategy focused on employees, customers, communities and commercial partners.

United recently joined OneTen, a coalition committed to creating 1 million family-sustaining careers for Black employees, with opportunities to advance over the next decade. Since participating, the airline has hired or promoted more than 2,000 Black employees into family- sustaining jobs.


The Outstanding Diversity & Inclusion in Travel, Hotel award this year goes to Preferred Hotel Group. Not only does Preferred Hotels & Resorts strive to strengthen and advance its own efforts in achieving equality, inclusion and lasting change for the LGBTQIA+ community, it also supports other hotel brands, communities and destinations working toward the same goal. Preferred Hotels & Resorts offers a separate booking site, PreferredPride.com, that allows the community to browse and book LGBTQIA+-friendly accommodations within its portfolio.

As one of the first hotel brands to launch an LGBTQIA+ welcoming travel program, Preferred Hotel Group worked to maintain relevance and appeal to the specific needs and expectations of today’s LGBTQIA+ traveler.

“With the new Preferred Pride, we are proud to showcase properties that are mindful of the requirements of LGBTQI+ travelers and in destinations that are recognized as safe, enabling them to book luxury hotel stays with confidence,” said Rick Stiffler, senior vice president, Global Sales, Preferred Hotels & Resorts; and founder, Preferred Pride.

This year we honor Norwegian Cruise Line with the Outstanding Diversity & Inclusion in Travel, Cruise award. Norwegian Cruise Line is committed to maintaining an inclusive work environment in which diverse backgrounds are represented, engaged and encouraged to generate and execute innovative ideas.

All employees have the chance to grow and develop skills and experience, regardless of role, division or geographic location. Last year team members both shoreside and shipboard completed more than 800,000 hours of training and development. Workers can choose from a variety of programs including mentorships, language courses and more.

The cruise line has long-term partnerships with National Diversity Council and sponsors the Florida Diversity Council and its South Florida local chapter. Last year Norwegian proudly sponsored the LGBTQ+ Summit held by Florida Diversity Council.

In 2021 Sixthman, Norwegian’s subsidiary company based in Atlanta, Georgia, joined ATL Action for Racial Equity. This initiative helps accelerate racial equity by leveraging the size and scale of the business community and the power of collective impact. Businesses signing this initiative will focus on addressing the region’s mobility and inequity challenges through measurable actions across corporate policies, inclusive economic development, workforce development and education.

Norwegian also offers Team Member Resource Groups as another way for employees to connect, share and discuss important issues as well as give back to the community. Right now, the cruise line offers three TMRGs — Elevate, for women in leadership; the Veterans Task Force; and Embrace Diversity in Leadership — and is exploring additional groups to provide team members more opportunities to connect and further their development.

United Airlines

Alaska Airlines
American Airlines

Preferred Hotel Group

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Marriott Hotels

Norwegian Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line
Celebrity Cruises
Royal Caribbean


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