Staff, 2022-12-08 12:33:00,
Black travelers make up a robust segment of the US tourism economy. According to a 2019 study conducted by market research firm MMGY Global, Black Americans spent $109.4bn on domestic travel in 2019 – plus nearly $20bn more on travel abroad. That’s over 13% of the overall US leisure travel market, roughly the same percentage of Black people in the US. “What’s often perceived to be a ‘niche’ audience actually accounts for over 458m traveler stays each year,” says Chris Davidson, executive vice president of MMGY.
These healthy numbers don’t square with the travel industry’s entrenched problem of Black equity. While a number of hotels were founded by Black people in the half century following Emancipation – from the Wormley Hotel in Washington DC and the recently shuttered Eureka Inn in Jonesborough, Tennessee to the Julian Gold Rush Hotel, which still operating in the former mining town of Julian, California, the Black stake in the US travel economy is far from flourishing. According to the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers, a mere 2% of US hotels are under Black ownership. Which means that travel dollars – no matter their source – rarely wind up in Black hands.
A crop of travel companies are making it somewhat easier to buy Black while on the go. From a Virginia getaway dreamed up by a woman who happens to have been one of the most important Black CEOs to a winter sports startup that caters to skiers of color, here…
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