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Tourism businesses to become Proud Allies this Pride Month

North East hospitality and tourism businesses are being encouraged to take part in training to ensure visitors from the LGBTQIA+ community get a warm and inclusive welcome.

Those working in tourism businesses across Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham can reinforce and enhance the warm welcome they provide to visitors by boosting their confidence around inclusive language at a dedicated training session.

Proud Allies training, delivered by Northern Pride in partnership with Curious Arts, is running throughout June to support tourism and hospitality businesses to provide a more inclusive welcome for LGBTQIA+ people.

The training will equip businesses and employees with the tools and knowledge to create safe, inclusive and welcoming spaces for LGBTQIA+ people and will raise awareness and increase confidence around inclusive language, how to engage with LGBTQIA+ communities and increase understanding.

Destination North East England is providing a limited number of training sessions, as part of the Everybody Welcome initiative, for tourism businesses which will enable those working in the sector to attend for free.

Laura Freer, Head of Visitor Economy Development, NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI), lead body for Destination North East England, said:

“We have ambitions to make the North East one of Europe’s most welcoming, inclusive and accessible visitor destinations – this training is a vital part of that journey. We are already renowned for our welcome and this training will help businesses to capitalise on that welcome, helping businesses to be LGBTQIA+ visitor ready.”

“We are pleased to continue working with Northern Pride and Curious Arts who create a safe space for tourism businesses to discuss inclusivity and help to build confidence in the use of inclusive language.

“The LGBTQIA+ spending power in the UK is estimated to be worth £6 billion annually, so engaging inclusively with the community also aligns with our ambitions to attract more international visitors as well as being the right thing to do.”

The training will equip businesses with the knowledge, skills, context and language to help make LGBTQIA+ people feel comfortable, safe and welcomed by ensuring team members are up to date with the latest legislation and best practice.

Ste Dunn, Director of Northern Pride, said:

“This training is instrumental for organisations looking to empower and educate their teams on the importance of being Proud Allies for the LGBTQIA+ community. And we ensure that when attendees leave the course, they have the knowledge and the tools to implement active allyship immediately.

“We’re proud with our track record of delivering to organisations across the globe including countries like Spain and Singapore, with stories on how businesses have made improvements to policies, procedures and customer service, all with the aim of making sure that when LGBTQIA+ people visit, live, work, and study in the region, they find a safe, warm and inclusive welcome.”

This training is provided as part of Destination North East England, England’s first-ever Destination Development Partnership Pilot. It is led by NGI on behalf of the region, working with delivery partners Visit Northumberland, Visit County Durham and in partnership with all seven local authorities to unlock the untapped potential of the regional visitor economy.

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