Hotel Online Special Report
University of Houston Hotel School Wins National Travel Award for the Creation of a First-Ever Hospitality Industry Diversity Institute
WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 1998 -  The University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management will receive a 1998 Odyssey Award for Education, Training and Employment for the creation of a first-ever Hospitality Industry Diversity Institute.

Odyssey Award winners will be formally honored at the Annual Awards Banquet that takes place on October 27, during the October 26-28 TIA Marketing Outlook Forum at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Reno, Nevada.

Odyssey Award judges believed that one of the objectives outlined by the school in creating the institute could also stand as a mission statement for all colleges and universities with travel and tourism programs: "To serve all constituencies with the travel and hospitality industries in fostering an understanding of diversity and providing a forum for study, education, sharing of practices and issues resolution."

Created just two years ago, the institute has worked toward achieving the objectives through curriculum development, the publishing of papers on diversity and other educational undertakings, and recognition of those who have worked for diversity in the travel and tourism industry.

The keystone of the Institute programs is, however, its annual Diversity Conference which brings together leaders from throughout the U.S. travel and tourism industry, ensuring that the subject of diversity gains widespread attention. The Odyssey Awards are presented in seven categories to travel organizations that are best examples of how the industry promotes and preserves the U.S. travel product.

TIA is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $502 billion travel industry. TIA's mission is to represent the whole of the U.S. travel industry to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States.

The mission of the Travel Industry Association of America is to represent the whole of the U.S.
travel industry to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States.

TIA fulfills this mission by accomplishing these objectives:

  • To promote a wider understanding of travel and tourism as a major U.S. industry that contributes substantially to the economic and social well-being of the nation; 
  • To bring cohesion to the travel industry and provide communications forums for industry leaders; 
  • To serve as the authoritative source for travel industry research, analysis and forecasting; 
  • To initiate and to cooperate with governmental entities in the development and implementation of programs, policies and legislation that are responsive to the needs of the industry, and to intervene in those issues and initiatives that would directly affect the facilitation and promotion of travel to and within the United States; 
  • To develop and implement programs beneficial to the travel supplier and consumer. 
Michael Pina of the Travel Industry Association of America, 
[email protected] or
Web site:
Also See:
Hotel.Online Viewpoint Forum: Why should the hospitality industry focus on diversity? The term diversity often raises confusion
Enhancing Quality Through Diversity / Dr. Ronald A. Nykiel / 1997 
Managing a Diverse Workforce - PKF / Nov. 1996

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