Husbands That Travel team Charlie and Michael at West Hotel Curio Collection. Image credit:

Hilton is advancing its LGBTQIA+ inclusion efforts across marketing and guest experience through a training program in partnership with Husbands That Travel (HTT).

A HTT survey of over 500 LGBTQIA+ travellers in Australia found that 98% have changed their behaviour while travelling to avoid drawing attention to their sexuality or gender, and 60% said it was their default to go back into the closet when they travel.

Team members across Hilton’s Australian hotel network are taking part in interactive workshops run by HTT, led by Charlie Douty and his partner Michael Kabourakis, to better understand LGBTQIA+ experiences when travelling.

The partnership will provide a strategic framework for creating an LGBTQIA+ inclusive service experience, and support hotels to create their own inclusivity action plans.

“Right from when we started to work with Hilton, they had an understanding of the importance of inclusivity, and the importance of going beyond lip service, starting by making sure their team members are thoroughly trained,” said Husbands that Travel Co-Founder, Charlie Douty.

“It’s been clear that Hilton is committed to creating the best possible experience for all guests. From our first conversation with Hilton, plans for training all levels of their staff from leadership to the front desk team progressed incredibly quickly, with the workshop going from an idea to a reality in just three weeks.”

To date, 350 NSW-based team members – including Hilton’s Australasia regional office leadership team, on-property leadership teams and front-line hotel teams – have already completed the training.

It’s the latest in a series of diversity and inclusion initiatives at Hilton including the hotel company’s recent partnership with charity Minus 18 to promote inclusive school formals.

Hilton Regional Director of Human Resources, Australasia, Mary Hogg, said, the business is committed to meeting delivering the best, most inclusive experience for team members and guests, “and not just talking about it”.

“We want to ensure the LGBTQIA+ community feels welcome and included at our hotels, so educating our team members on their travel needs will mean we are well placed to deliver exceptional Hilton hospitality experiences for them,” she said.

“We are privileged to be working with Husbands That Travel to deliver this and look forward to continuing to warmly welcome LGBTQIA+ travellers at all Hilton properties across the country.”