SONGHEES, ESQUIMALT AND W̱SÁNEĆ TERRITORIES — Accent Inns Inc. has become the first hotel chain to be officially Rainbow Registered with Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce. First launched in June 2021, the Rainbow Registered Accreditation Program was created to better identify 2SLGBTQI+ friendly businesses across the Canada and move the needle on 2SLGBTQI+ rights. The Rainbow Registered symbol indicates to consumers that the business meets a stringent set of standards to ensure 2SLGBTQI+ visitors feel safe, welcomed and accepted.
Establishing a Deadname Standard Operating Procedure was a key priority for Accent Inns Inc. this year. A deadname reflects the name given to a transgender person at birth which they no longer identify with and can be extremely invalidating and potentially subjecting that person to harassment and discrimination. So, Accent Inns Inc. worked with their providers to develop unique customization of their booking engine specially to alleviate anxiety among folks whose names do not match the name on their government-issued identification.
Additionally, training is required for managers. Included in this training are components of proper pronoun usage and education on terms associated with gender and human identities. As a commitment to all staff, Accent Inns Inc. benefits package covers hormone therapy so that all staff members who chose a medical transition can show up at work and in their lives as their authentic selves.
Furthermore, Accent Inns Inc. dedicates significant resources to support local queer-friendly community groups and organizations. For the month of February in 2022, the properties unveiled unique multimedia Progress Pride Flags in their lobbies and provided queer-friendly Valentine’s Day cards to include the queer community in a holiday that has traditionally overlooked the 2SLGBTQI+ community.
“I can’t begin to describe what it means to be the first hotel chain to have all of their properties be Rainbow Registered,” says Mandy Farmer, CEO at Accent Inns Inc. “Goosebumps, swelling heart, misty eyes and so fiercely proud of my amazing team for making this happen.”
“Regardless of whether you are a guest or employee, our intention at Accent Inns, Hotel Zed and ROAR is to make our properties a space where you can show up as your true authentic self every day,” says Matt Schmitt, Sales and Marketing coordinator at Accent Inns Inc. and driver of this initiative. “For me, this is more than flying a flag or putting a sticker on our window. It’s about genuinely welcoming and celebrating everyone who walks into our hotel, regardless of gender identity, expression or sexual orientation. Being a good human and doing the right thing is embedded in who we are, and it feels damn good.”
“The global LGBT+ travel market is estimated at $22 billion USD. As businesses become increasingly aware of the potential of this growing market, they have realized the unique needs of this diverse community,” says Darrell Schuurman, CEO of Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce. “In response, the CLGCC created the Rainbow Registered accreditation program, Canada’s first national standard for safe and inclusive spaces for the LGBT+ community. This program, in addition to a number of our development and training resources for the LGBT+ community, are available to help create a lasting legacy of inclusivity for LGBT+ visitors, customers and employees throughout the country.”