The Richmond Region is a diverse cultural and historic gateway, and our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion isn’t just something that we do – it’s who we are as a destination.  

It’s been a busy summer and fall for the Richmond Region Tourism team, as we travel to networking events and host conferences in the Richmond Region. Along the way, there have been exciting DEI-related updates that we’re eager to share with you.

Here’s what we have been up to – and what we’re looking forward to.

A look back: Conversations with lawmakers about the power of tourism

DEI bumpRichmond Region Tourism team members attended the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference in Washington DC in September to speak with lawmakers like Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott about tourism’s impact on our local economies and communities.

It was a great opportunity to engage the nation’s leaders about the importance and power of community-driven campaigns like BLK RVA.

Launched in 2019 to shine a spotlight on the vibrant Black and Brown tourism ecosystem in the Richmond Region, BLK RVA has evolved to also support Black entrepreneurship and nearly 2,000 Black-owned businesses through mentoring programs with Capital One and CarMax, grants, internship opportunities with HBCUs and SWaM certification training.

While in DC, the team also attended the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals’ 39th annual State of Black Tourism conference. We were proud to sponsor the important networking and learning event for another year.

Happening now: Building an inclusive vending network with RISE

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is integrated into Richmond Region Tourism’s mission and values while driving every approach we take, including our purchasing strategies.

Last year, Richmond Region Tourism partnered with RISE (Report on Inclusive Spending Efforts).  This organization works exclusively with Destination Marketing Organizations to establish industry leading purchasing processes and uses data to solidify our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through business impact.

We are committed to responsible spending and equitable partnerships, and together we’re currently working to audit Richmond Region Tourism’s vendors to track the diversity of our partner organizations. Our team is excited to continue our journey with RISE.

What’s next: Welcoming the Power of Partnership Stewardship to RVA

We are thrilled to welcome the Power of Partnership Stewardship Summit to the Richmond Region next year.

The Oct. 15-18 event is a collaboration by the Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance, Tourism Cars, The Travel Foundation and U.S. Cultural & Heritage Marketing Council and is dedicated to exploring the intersections of culture, climate and community in travel and tourism.

The summit will provide development opportunities for industry professionals and BIPOC suppliers to broaden their knowledge and strategy for leveraging cultural heritage tourism to drive economic impact, along with a multi-cultural marketplace that will connect buyers and suppliers to build and enhance these opportunities.

Keep up with event updates – and join us in RVA for the summit in 2023.