Tourism video for Cheltenham is slammed over 'lack of diversity'

Tourism video promoting town of Cheltenham is slammed over its ‘lack of diversity’ as it features nearly ALL white people – except for service staff

  • The two-minute film was released to try to get people back to shops Cheltenham
  • It was made for Marketing Cheltenham as it tries to improve the visitor economy
  • But the footage has been criticised on social media for not being diverse enough
  • It also appears all non-white people in the video are portrayed in service industry

An upmarket town has been slammed over a video promoting shops and businesses reopening using nearly all white people – except for service staff.

The two-minute film was released in a bid to encourage people back to shops, bars, hotels and hairdressers in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

It was created for Marketing Cheltenham, a group tasked with improving the visitor economy in the spa town and managed by the local council.

But the clip has been criticised on social media for not being representative enough of the town’s diverse community – as only a few of the people used were BAME.

It also appears all the non-white people who featured in the video are portrayed in service industry roles.

The two-minute film (pictured) was released in a bid to encourage people back to shops, bars, hotels and hairdressers in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

The manager of Marketing Cheltenham later said the group did ‘absolutely recognise the importance of taking an inclusive approach’.

The town has a higher proportion of people from the BAME community – 5.7 per cent – than the county-wide figure of 4.6 per cent.

Gloucester had the highest proportion in Gloucestershire at 10.9 per cent, but it is still lower than the national average of 14.6 per cent.

The film was published on a tourism website and on social media on Friday in an attempt showcase the town.

The clip has been criticised on social media for not being representative enough of the town’s diverse community – as only a few of the people used were BAME

But it was soon met by stern words by some people online – with one stating ‘representation matters’.

They said: ‘People of colour live here. People of colour visit here. We want everyone to feel welcomed.

‘I felt this video was not representative of our town, or the rest of the country. So…. All (both?!) the people of colour in Cheltenham work in the service industry?’

But others on social media said they did not see what the fuss was about, with one person saying: ‘Seen it all now.’ Another added: ‘Reflects Cheltenham perfectly!’

Manager of Marketing Cheltenham David Jackson told local media the group ‘welcome all and any feedback’.

He said: ‘Feedback on the video has been overwhelmingly positive, so we’re incredibly grateful to all of those businesses that took the time to participate.

‘As with all our marketing materials, we have tried to ensure that the video features a cross section of Cheltenham and its business community.

‘However, we absolutely recognise the importance of taking an inclusive approach and of representing the diversity that exists in both our community and our audiences.

‘We are committed to ensuring our marketing output continues to adhere to this and welcome all and any feedback that helps to refine our approach.’

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