Black Travel Groups Criticize NAACP Advisory, Says It’s Harmful To Black-Owned Businesses
Black travel groups are raising concerns for Black-owned businesses after the NAACP issued a Florida travel advisory in response to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ current policies eliminating African American studies and DEI programs.
According to Travel Weekly, leaders of the Future of Black Tourism, Blacks in Travel & Tourism, and the Black Travel Alliance addressed the NAACP’s latest move in a joint statement. The groups said there is “a better way to make a statement to Governor DeSantis beyond a travel advisory petitioning African Americans and people of color to stay away from Florida. Small Black businesses and marginalized communities certainly should not be the sacrificial lamb.”
“The question we all must ask ourselves is, ‘Who does the Florida Travel Advisory really hurt?” read the statement. “DeSantis’ attack on Black history studies and undermining of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for political gain is not a representation of everyone in the state of Florida, especially Black businesses and marginalized communities who stand to be most negatively impacted by the NAACP’s call to action.”
The statement from the Black travel groups suggested that the NAACP should have met with Black travel and tourism entities to discuss how this could affect Black travel and tourism businesses financially.
Since the NAACP’s travel warning, destinations in Florida have extended warm welcome messages to visitors of the Sunshine State.
“Orlando has always been and will continue to be a diverse, welcoming and inclusive community,” Casandra Matej, CEO of Visit Orlando, said. “As the top travel destination in the country and long-standing leader in the travel industry, our community has a history of welcoming all to our destination. Travel and tourism positively impacts our community and plays a valuable role in ongoing engagement and dialogue.”
Geoff Freeman, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, encouraged leaders to open their minds and work progressively rather than closing doors based on their disseverance with current policies.
The group is ready to work with the NAACP to find alternative solutions. The statement was signed by Stephanie Jones, CEO of the Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance/Blacks in Travel & Tourism, and Martinique Lewis, president of the Black Travel Alliance.