When travel brands posted a black square on their social media platforms in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the Black Travel Alliance (BTA) challenged these brands to publicly share their data on Black representation within their companies through its #PullUpForTravel campaign.

The alliance requested travel brands and organizations to publicly share 2019 KPIs on Black representation in their companies and activities in five major areas: employment, conferences & tradeshows, paid advertising/marketing campaigns, press, and philanthropy.

The alliance found that Black people are under-represented at all levels within the travel industry.

Of the 121 travel organizations BTA identified as posting about #BlackLivesMatter or #BlackOutTuesday, 67 (55%) responded to the #PullUpForTravel campaign.

#PullUpForTravel Key Findings

Of the 67 campaign respondents, 29 companies gave a percentage range of 0% to 90%. However, most of the responses were for the category of POC employees and not specifically for Black employees.

Of the 67 respondents, six companies provided figures that they ensured Black representation on speaker panels, workshops, and sessions at conferences and trade shows.

Of the 67 respondents, 12 companies provided data figures demonstrating that they included Black representation in the areas of TV, radio, print, and digital channels including social media in 2019.

Of the 67 respondents, six companies provided data indicating that they ensured Black representation on media and press trips in 2019.

Of the 67 respondents, five companies provided figures for charitable contributions and support to Black charities and community groups.

“As a new organization, we were able to get sixty-seven destination management organizations and travel brands to go on the record about Black representation within their companies. This now becomes a benchmark for greater transparency and accountability in the months and years to come,” said Black Travel Alliance President Martinique Lewis.

The Black Travel Alliances says it plans to undertake a formal study of the #PullUpForTravel campaign before its one-year anniversary to see what improvements destination management organizations and brands have made since posting Black squares as a sign of solidarity.

In the meantime, the alliance is working on The Black Traveler Study, a random sample of 4,500 Black leisure travelers from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

The study,  conducted in partnership with MMGY Global, along with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP) and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers (NABHOOD), will be scheduled for publication in November.

“We are excited about these two research projects as well as others in the pipeline as they will help us move beyond making the emotional argument to making a solid business case for greater representation with the travel industry,” said Ursula Petula Barzey, who serves as the Research Committee Chair for the Black Travel Alliance.

Click here to view the full report for the #PullUpForTravel campaign.