Hoseasons won the award of ‘Best LGBT Holiday Company’ at the British Travel Awards in 2017. (Hoseasons)
The boss of UK holiday firm Hoseasons has said that he will not accept bookings from racist or homophobic customers, and that they can “use another agent”.
Simon Altham, chief portfolio officer at Awaze UK, which is the parent company of Hoseasons, told Eastern Daily Press: “I came to the conclusion that Hoseasons as a brand needed to stand for something and I don’t want racist or homophobic customers booking with Hoseasons.
“If you are homophobic or racist, Hoseasons isn’t the right brand for you.”
Altham is a gay man himself and said he wanted the firm to be “representative of UK society and that includes the LGBT community”.
He also became a diversity role model for the company five years ago, and helps staff with issues relating to sexuality.
We are absolutely thrilled to announce we have won the first ever ‘Best LGBT Holiday Company’ award and also the ‘Best Special Interest Holiday Company’ award at the British Travel Awards last night. Thank you all so much for voting for us! ❤️#BTA17 @BritTravAwrds pic.twitter.com/NFyEWS3TWP
— Hoseasons (@Hoseasons) November 30, 2017
Hoseasons won an award for ‘Best LGBT Holiday Company’ in 2017.
He said to Eastern Daily Press: “Six years ago a travel industry colleague, who isn’t himself gay, approached me and asked me if I had thought about doing more in terms of LGBT+, and I didn’t understand the relevance to talk about being gay in the workplace.”
When he visiting some homeless LGBT+ young people, he realised that he could be a role model for being gay and successful in a leadership position. He decided to “modernise” the company by creating more diversity in their marketing when it came to sexuality and race.
He continued: “I decided we were going to make sure our models and marketing were representative of modern Britain, go hell for leather in the LGBT space, be brave, use same-sex models in our brochures and we got the support of the owners of the business.
“The best way to talk about it in a business context is the commercial benefit, regardless of the ethical view, fundamentally if you have a diversity inclusion agenda you will recruit and retain the best employees, for sure.”
Hoseasons won the award of ‘Best LGBT Holiday Company’ at the British Travel Awards in 2017.