According to MMGY Global’s “The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities” report, not only do Black Americans spend a lot on leisure travel, but seeing Black people represented in the advertising associated with a destination increases the likelihood that Black people from the United States will go there.
In 2019, Black Americans spent an estimated $109 billion on leisure travel, accounting for around 13% of all travelers. Though those numbers are pre-pandemic, travel is expected to rebound in 2023 and could see a boost due to one group in particular.
Essence reports that Black Travel Summit has announced Nov. 11 as National Black Travel Day, chosen to honor Captain Barrington Irving, the first and only Black person to fly a solo global mission.
Black Travel Summit will host a conference from Oct. 20-22 at Miami’s Hyatt Centric Brickell. According to its website, the event features panel discussions with travel industry leaders, workshops, activities highlighting Black Miami, and an opportunity to connect with those driving diversity within the travel industry. Hyatt’s Director of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Ronisha Goodwin told Essence.
“We are proud to continue our collaboration with Black Travel Summit and celebrate National Black Travel Day. This day is a testament to our ongoing commitment to uplifting Black voices, forging meaningful connections and paving the way for a more inclusive travel industry.”
According to Travel Pulse, Black travelers wield considerable influence on the leisure travel industry. Black people who are interested in traveling as an extension of their interests in Black culture and history tend to spend more on their trips compared to others. Felicia Fencl, CEO of First Choice Travel Group, told the outlet,
“When asked what has drawn them to want to visit those countries, (African countries like Kenya and Ghana) the replies are almost always the same. They want to immerse themselves in the experiences that make them feel good about their heritage. They are seeking authentic interactions with the people and the land.”
Another travel agent, Belvin Baldwin II, CEO of Showtime Travel, said his clients “are not only looking for cultural activities but bucket-list items. The pandemic has taught us that time waits for no one and they are making those dream vacations a reality now.”
Black travel plans, Baldwin added, are even more aggressive than they had been in 2019. His clients are looking to book multiple bucket list trips in one year, which could mean Black leisure travel dollars eclipse the high water mark they set in 2019.