Well of course they do – it’s just that simple! But why would those in the travel industry even ask such a question? The reason is that in the minds of many travel agencies, advertisers, travel providers and most unfortunately, many African Americans, the thinking is that African American’s don’t travel as much as other racial groups.Here are the hard facts: The mood among African Americans regarding travel, particularly millennials and baby boomers, is rapidly changing. African Americans ARE traveling in greater numbers and it is important that the travel industry understands and embraces this fact.
As we become more connected globally, there are more opportunities to see what other states, countries and continents have to offer by way of culture, food, music and landscape. By “visiting” locations via transportation industry websites, travel blogs and watching reality travel shows like the Travel Channel’s No Reservations with chef Anthony Bourdain, more tentative African American travelers are stepping out of their comfort zones and onto planes, trains and ships, heading to foreign destinations.
Let’s tackle two of the myths with two African American travel bloggers:
MYTH: African American’s don’t like the outdoors.
Rue Mapp, writer of OutdoorAfro.com, begs to differ. With a tagline like “Where Black People and Nature Meet,” it’s clear that, like the author, many African American’s love nature and have a “passion for natural spaces, farming, the outdoors” and “learning how to hunt and fish.”
MYTH: African Americans don’t like beaches because they can’t swim and don’t sunbathe.
Self described “recovering corporate attorney,” and travel blogger for USA Today and LostGirlsWorld.com, Kelly Newsome writes the blog KellysGoneAgain.com, where she chronicles her travels and philanthropic work around the world, including “downtime” on the beaches of St. Tropez, the Gili Islands of Indonesia and many more.
Some other sites leading the pack in disproving the “Blacks Don’t Travel” rule include MyBlackJourney.com, a new Amtrak travel portal focused on African American travel and culturally relevant destinations. Another is Black Atlas – a travel blog sponsored by American Airlines, with content specifically tailored for and provided by African American travelers.
So yes, not only are African Americans traveling, but they’re encouraging their friends, family and peers to do the same. Now the question is, will the travel industry continue to leave African American money on the table? That remains to be seen.
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