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Trade Show Talk Podcast

Aug 4, 2022

Accessibility and inclusivity are not spoken about nearly enough. This month we're covering another super important topic with both episodes.

While "tourism" is thought about as people "vacationing," it's about so much more. The travel industry is becoming more accessible, which makes it more inclusive. This also has an impact on the meetings and events industry because of the travel involved with in-person events.

"Awareness leads to change... and awareness leads to education... and education leads to change."

Read that again: Awareness leads to change.

Both guests on this episode are doing incredible work to bring about awareness that leads to change. Jake is doing it with his Travelability events, and Alana through her research and educating college students.

We dig deep into looking at this not as something that's simply performative, or just abides by the law, but as something that is morally right. Making it so that an estimated 20% of the population can travel freely, and where people of color feel safe when they travel is important.

Every destination, hotel, airline, event organizer, and more can make incremental changes to include people with disabilities. And we can all be allies to people of color and those who have disabilities.

The tricky part? Not all disabilities can be seen. Listen and let us know what you think--can you help make a difference?

Our Guests

Jake Steinman
Jake is the founder and CEO of TravelAbility, whose mission has been to educate the tour and travel industry about the need to make travel easier for people with disabilities and to provide access to the features, resources and services that will make the travel experience inclusive for everyone.  Since 2019, TravelAbility has developed an ecosystem that includes an annual conference, an industry newsletter, an online resource hub, The Accessibility Playbook instructional manual, and Accessible Journeys, a quarterly digital magazine to promote disability travel.

Alana Dillette
Dr. Alana Dillette is an Associate Professor in the Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses with a specific focus on leadership development. Her research interests include exploring issues around diversity and inclusion in the hospitality and tourism industry. More specifically, she studies the intersection between tourism, race, gender & ethnicity and is a leader with Tourism RESET as an initiative coordinator. 

Currently, she is working on research to gain a better understanding of how systemic racism has shaped the hospitality and tourism industry for Black travelers and professionals. Dr. Dillette works to continue building bridges between industry and academia and can also be found online in publications such as AFAR Media and Conde Nast Traveler.  

Resources from Alana & Jake

Explorable Podcast

Tourism RESET

National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH)

Links to online features: The Conversation article; The Trip Doctor - Traveling While Black


If you enjoyed episode 14, please take a moment to rate and review the show!

The "Trade Show Talk" podcast is publishing two episodes per month, focusing on a different theme each month. If you'd like to be a sponsor or a guest or you have a topic to suggest we cover, please let us know by emailing