What I heard got me thinking. I was shocked. It’s a reality that I haven’t experienced in Australia, but now I know multiculturalism it exists and it needs to be addressed.

Earlier this month we attended the VIC Tourism Conference, organised by the Victorian Tourism Industry Council.

It was a great event and I had a chance to discuss languages and cultural diversity with a broad range of organisations. One of the conversations that stuck in my head was with the owner of a very touristy attraction in Victoria.

She was proudly telling me that their main international clientele comes from China and India and they don’t speak any English. When asked whether they have staff that speak their languages, she explained to me that they can only hire Australians, because tourists come to Victoria to live an authentic experience.

Is it time that we all stand tall and proud of what being Australian looks like?

  • Australia is not defined by an accent, a culture, or a language.
  • We live in the most successful multicultural society in the world.
  • We are a land of immigration.
  • According to the 2016 census, two-thirds of the Australian population were born in Australia.
  • Nearly half of Australians are first- or second-generation Australians.
  • In 2016, there were over 300 separately identified languages spoken in Australian homes.
  • Let’s tell this story to our tourists. Let’s show them.
  • Let’s be proud that we can hire locals who speak the language of our clients.
  • Proud of our bilingual workforce, our translators, and our interpreters.


Create a Welcoming Environment

Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all customers, regardless of their cultural background, can help them feel valued and appreciated, and can lead to positive word-of-mouth recommendations and increased customer loyalty.

Train your staff

Provide training to your staff on how to interact with customers from different cultures, and teach them about cultural norms, customs, and practices. This will help them to better understand and empathize with customers and create a welcoming and inclusive environment.

Display diversity

Create a visually diverse space, with images and decorations that represent different cultures. This will help customers from diverse backgrounds feel more comfortable and included.

Use inclusive language

Be mindful of the language used in your marketing materials, signage, and interactions with customers. Avoid using language that may be exclusive or offensive to certain groups and use inclusive language that welcomes and values all customers.

Offer diverse products and services

Provide a range of products and services that cater to the needs and interests of customers from different cultural backgrounds. This can help customers feel seen and valued and encourage them to return.

Listen to feedback

Encourage feedback from customers, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, and listen to their suggestions and concerns. This can help you identify areas for improvement and make changes that create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all.

Why Cultural Inclusion is Important for Your Business

Cultural inclusion is important for businesses because it helps to create an environment that is welcoming and accommodating to people from different cultural backgrounds. In a globalised world where people travel frequently for business and leisure, businesses must be aware of and sensitive to cultural differences. By embracing diversity and inclusivity, businesses can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, and attract a wider range of clients.

Moreover, having a diverse and inclusive workforce can also bring about many benefits for businesses, including increased creativity, better problem-solving, and a broader range of perspectives. It can also help to reduce the risk of discrimination and create a more harmonious workplace culture.

In short, cultural inclusion is not just about doing the right thing; it’s also about making good business sense. By embracing diversity and inclusivity, businesses can unlock new opportunities for growth and success, and contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society.


We tell the multiculturalism story by celebrating diversity and acting on inclusion.

But how do we do that? Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Have diverse teams

Having a culturally and linguistically diverse workforce will help you provide a more culturally appropriate service to clients from different backgrounds.

2. Produce inclusive marketing materials

Investing in translated content will help you spread the word about the services that you provide and how your business stands out from others. You also need to learn how to choose the right translation agency.

3. Lead with empathy

Approaching leadership from a position of empathy will help you understand your customers. Once you can understand what’s important to them, you will be better placed to provide a service that is inclusive and culturally appropriate.

4. Focus on specific cultural groups

Take one step at a time. The journey to being inclusive is a long one, so focus on one community at a time to maximise results.

5. Foster cross-cultural communication

Encourage and facilitate communication between staff and customers from different cultural backgrounds. Provide training on effective cross-cultural communication techniques and encourage staff to ask questions and learn from customers’ cultural perspectives.

6. Partner with local multicultural organizations

Collaborate with local multicultural organizations or community groups to gain insights into specific cultural needs and preferences. Build partnerships to create joint initiatives or events that promote cultural understanding and inclusivity.

7. Celebrate multicultural holidays and events

Acknowledge and celebrate important cultural holidays and events by incorporating them into your business promotions or organizing special activities. This demonstrates your commitment to cultural inclusion and shows appreciation for diverse traditions and celebrations.

8. Establish cultural competency guidelines

Develop guidelines or policies that promote cultural competency within your business. Provide employees with resources and guidelines for understanding and respecting different cultural practices and beliefs, ensuring that they are integrated into your overall business operations.

9. Offer language assistance services

Consider providing language assistance services, such as access to interpreters or translated materials, to facilitate communication with customers who may have limited English proficiency. This shows a commitment to overcoming language barriers and ensuring inclusivity for all customers.

10. Create opportunities for cultural exchange

Organize events or activities that facilitate cultural exchange between staff and customers. This can include cultural workshops, language exchange programs, or cultural immersion experiences, fostering mutual understanding and appreciation.

11. Seek feedback from diverse customers

Regularly seek feedback from customers of diverse backgrounds to understand their experiences and identify areas for improvement. This feedback can help you tailor your services to better meet the needs and expectations of diverse customers.

And what’s the bottom line? Your clients will be happier!

I hope I made my case :)

Plain hugs,


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About the Author: Sonia Sanchez
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