While many focus their Pride celebrations during the month of June, when you visit an Accor hotel, you’ll find that we celebrate in June and throughout the entire year. The pandemic heavily impacted Pride celebrations for the last two years but this year’s in-person gatherings are giving the LGBTQIA+ pillar of Accor North & Central America even more reasons to celebrate.
“We honor key dates throughout the year such as Trans Awareness Day and Spirit Day, but Pride month is one of our main focuses, and it’s where we put a lot of our efforts,” says Renelle Boudreau, Director of Revenue at Fairmont Tremblant and leader of Accor’s LGBTQIA+ pillar.
Accor is gearing up for all the upcoming festivities, with its LGBTQIA+ pillar spearheading the initiatives. Fairmont Royal York and more than 40 participating Fairmont hotels across Canada and North America are whipping up signature Pride cocktails. The hotel will be hosting a Chic – Le Freak Drag Brunch and providing a Fairmont Gold experience for guests who make a donation.
NCA hub employees and Fairmont Royal York will participate in the Toronto Pride Parade for the first time. Fairmont San Francisco, along with other Bay Area Fairmont hotels, will continue their participation in the annual San Francisco Pride Parade. As always, the hotels will decorate their front drives with rainbow flags as a beacon of solidarity, inclusion and celebration for all guests and travelers.
Ride for Pride
Taking a step (or perhaps a pedal) back from traditional parade celebrations, Fairmont Tremblant, and other Fairmont hotels in eastern Canada, are looking forward to joining a Pride Ride for the second year. Boudreau called the event a great success last year.
“There is a trail that goes from Montreal all the way up north through the mountains. It’s 100km of biking and the event was for regional employees and their families. Last year, the event raised $10,000 for a local LGBTQIA+ youth support non-profit organization,” Boudreau said.
At Accor, Love is Love
Every year, the pillar reaffirms its commitment to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, from sponsoring Pride marches to implementing inclusion policies for employees. Accor has established itself as an ally and champion for LGBTQIA+ travelers. This year, Accor’s campaign, and its loyalty program, echoes these sentiments. ALL, which stands for Accor Live Limitless, will expand to stand for Accor Love Limitless.
“Love is love, and this year, Love Limitless represents all humans,“ says Boudreau. “I like that there was a lot of interest in participating with our LGBTQIA+ pillar to collaborate with and support us.” Love Limitless offers such perks as late checkout, room upgrades or Pride-themed welcome amenities—along with 500 Reward points
for members of ALL—when a guest makes a donation to a local LGBTQIA+ organization of the hotel’s choosing. Participating hotels span the breadth of Accor’s brand portfolio in the region and include luxury properties like the magnifique Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, where you can enjoy a $30 food and beverage credit, to economy hotels like ibis Styles Mexico City Zona Rosa, where you’ll receive a late check-out to thank you for your contribution.
Pride is Just the Beginning
There is no denying Accor’s commitment to inclusivity runs far deeper than parade floats and rainbow-colored cocktails. All employees participate in year-round training to create awareness, understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly travelers.
“We work with Booking.com as an industry partner and they do training as part of their program for the hotels about how to welcome guests of the LGBTQIA+ community,” says Cory Hagopian, Vice President, Entertainment & Executive Travel in Toronto, Ontario and LGBTQIA+ pillar leader. “During the training, we talk about how to treat the members of the community so they feel comfortable and welcomed in the hotels.”
For many travelers, a hotel is more than just a place to hang your hat. It’s a home away from home. The pillar hopes LGBTIQ+ travelers and allies who arrive at an Accor property feel like they’re part of our family. “That’s how it’s supposed to feel,“ Boudreau says. “Thank you for coming, we’re so happy to have you in our home. There’s no judgment here.”
“I’ve always felt welcome in an Accor hotel, but that is just part of our culture, the people we hire and our hiring practice. We’re fortunate that way,” says Hagopian. “But it does start from the top-down. I’ve worked for Accor for 27 years, and I can say it comes from the top, the CEO of our region and senior leadership, and that sets the culture as well.”
The Future is Bright
The last few years have been unprecedented, but the silver lining is that it has shed light on and been a catalyst for necessary conversations about racism and gender inequality. Conversations that are necessary to create real, lasting change. Hagopian and Boudreau, the leaders of the LGBTQIA+ pillar, hope to create more awareness and education, especially for trans people of color. “This is the area that we want to continue to focus on even more. While things have changed a lot over the years, I think these are areas where we can do better.”
When asked what made Hagopian join the pillar he said, “Why I participate is why I’ve always wanted to participate. I want younger people in the company to know they can be open and successful. It’s about being visible and showing new and younger employees that they can excel and the company is going to support you.”