Research published by MMGY Global found that 54 percent of Black travelers are more likely to visit a destination if they see Black representation in tourism advertisements for the region. But there was one larger determining factor when it came to Black travelers picking a destination: safety. Seventy-one percent of Black travelers from the U.S. said that safety is a top priority when choosing travel spots. The sentiment was not felt as strongly among Black travelers from other countries. The Black Travel Alliance Committee Chair, Ursula Petula Barzey, was quoted “It is not surprising that Black representation in advertising and safety highly influence U.S. Black travelers more so than Black travelers from France and Germany where awareness and discussions about racial issues are more muted.”
Considering the power of the Black dollar in the areas of travel and leisure, travel agencies should take heed of the above-listed concerns Black travelers have. The MMGY Global study showed that Black travelers from the U.S. spend well over $100 billion on travel each year. There is a need for travel companies that relate to the desires and requirements of Black travelers, and in response to that need some amazing Black-owned travel agencies have popped up over the years. Here’s a look at Black-owned travel companies you should book your summer travel with.
Up In The Air Life
Claire Soares is the CEO of Up In The Air Life, a boutique travel agency designed to allow adventurers to “Let your guard down and travel with confidence amongst other like-minded Black people,” according to her website. To give you some idea of how beloved this travel agency is, many of their 2023 trips are almost already at full capacity including one to Brazil, Mexico and Iceland. However, sojourners can still currently join in on the trips to Singapore + Malaysia, Kenya + Uganda, Tanzania + Zanzibar and several other breathtaking locations. Up In The Air Life proudly calls itself a “bougie” agency, and that can be seen through the trip itineraries. On the Kenya + Uganda trip, travelers will “Sip sommelier-selected champagne in the middle of a rainforest, and stay in a luxury safari camp.”
The Wind Collective
The Wind Collective is a travel agency but it’s so much more. Their visual content agency produces incredible imagery that inspires people to trot across the globe. On their website, they describe themselves this way: “We are a global travel community expressing freedom through adventure and creativity.” It three Black co-founders are adventurers themselves and they curate unforgettable experiences around the world that focus on partnering with local vendors to create immersive trips. They currently offer trips to Africa and the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean. We recommend checking out their summer trip to Brazil, which will include Samba dance classes, Caipirinha cocktail making classes and a professional photoshoot with their creative team.
Green Book Global
Though Green Book Global is not a travel agency, they are worth checking out if you’re looking for recommendations and insider tips on Black travel. Their mission, stated on their website, is “To be the trusted resource of the Black travel experience for every destination.” Its founder started the site after traveling to over 30 countries on all seven continents and realizing it was difficult to determine what racism and the Black travel experience might look like in each destination. He recognized other Black adventurers faced the same struggles, so he created Green Book Global, where visitors can find detailed information on over 400 destinations. Locations receive scores for several factors, including “adventure”, “relaxation” and “Traveling while Black.” If you book your trip through their website, you can receive cashback offers.
Trinidad Carnival Packages
Trinidad Carnival Packages is part of Events by Ashe, a travel company owned by couple Esha and Tarik Davis. “We plan unique and life-changing Caribbean Experiences,” is the promise found on their website. The two met at the Trinidad Carnival and slowly began to realize how many other travelers around the world wanted to experience the epic party, but didn’t know how to plan their trip. From there, the first leg of their travel company, Trinidad Carnival Packages, was born. A Trinidad native, Esha gives tourists the authentic Trinidad experience, sharing her favorite local food, activities and more. Their agency organizes every part of the trip, including the smallest of details (like where to get your costume for the Trinidad Carnival!)
“Tastemakers Africa offers unique tours created and hosted by artists, creators, and makers in Africa and beyond,” says the agency’s website. The company recruits unique, in-the-know individuals to take tourists on immersive experiences. One example might be touring the nightlife with a local DJ or taking cooking classes with a local chef. Travel publications have called the company the “Sexy, dope way to experience Africa.” Trips are curated with an emphasis on African culture and the company currently operates in Accra, Cape Town, Dakar and Johannesburg. The company’s founder and CEO Cherae Robinson is a Ted Talk speaker, biologist and ex-DJ and in herself represents the type of variety you can expect to experience on a Tastemakers Africa trip.
“Dipaways was created to support a happy and free lifestyle,” says the company site. That’s the very lifestyle its founder, Chadricks Everette, found after leaving a successful marketing career behind to travel the world. He aims to share the sense of freedom he’s discovered with clients who book with Dipaways. Dipaways offers private and group trips. Current destinations offered for group trips include Accra, Joshua Tree, Bali, Marrakech and the Amalfi Coast. Itineraries combine recreational and educational activities. The Accra trip will feature African dance and drum lessons as well as hikes to hidden waterfalls and the chance to cook with the locals.
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