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Black Travel Alliance Calls on Travel Industry for More Support

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 6/17/2020 Rich Thomaselli
a person standing in front of a window: woman, airport, African american, travel © E+ / FatCamera woman, airport, African american, travel

A new travel group formed to help create a better representation of the black community in the travel industry is calling on travel firms to offer more than just verbal support.

Buoyed by the support he has seen from the travel industry in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement, Jeff Jenkins, founding member of the new Black Travel Alliance, said it’s time take account of blacks in the sector.

“Black Travel Alliance was heartened to see that many destinations and travel brands showed support during #BlackOutTuesday. However, dismantling systemic racism requires more than social media activism,” Jenkins said in a statement. “Destination management organizations and travel brands need to truly become more inclusive in their hiring practices and marketing campaigns.”

The story was also reported by our sister publication, Travel Weekly.

Black Travel Alliance, a group of black travel content creators, was formed to evaluate how travel brands and organizations represent the black community in their employment, branding and marketing campaigns, philanthropy and other areas.

The group is asking the industry to “work towards meaningful representation of black voices.”

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The alliance said it will collect data in five areas to launch a Black Travel Scorecard:

– Employment – Current number and percentage of black people in management and on staff.

– Conferences & Tradeshows – Black representation (number and percentage) on speaker panels, workshops, sessions, etc.

– Paid Advertising/Marketing Campaigns – Black representation (number and percentage) in TV, radio, print and digital channels including social media.

– Press – Black representation (number and percentage) on media/press trips in 2019.

– Philanthropy – Charitable contributions and support (i.e. mentorship and intern programs, etc.) to black charities and community groups.

Citing a 2018 report from Mandala Research, the group said black Americans spend $63 billion on travel each year, the alliance said there is not enough black representation in the management and staff of larger travel companies, on travel press trips and in marketing campaigns, even from cities and countries that attract or constitute a large number of black people.

The Black Travel Alliance is asking travel companies to communicate their metrics publicly in five key areas by June 19 and launched a campaign with the hashtag #PullUpForTravel on social media.


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