Photo Credit: Photo by ErnAn Solozábal on Unsplash
Traveling While Black: These Influencers Discuss Changes They Want To See In The Industry
The tide is turning in the era of Black Lives Matter and this is evident as more people and businesses are speaking up and fighting against social injustices across various industries, including travel.
In their own words, three travel influencers discussed changes they hope to see within the tourism industry:
Rashad McCrorey, CEO, Africa Tours
“I would like to see an increase in Black Travel companies focusing on Black Travel destinations. Personally, I’m tired of “non-Black” countries and destinations receiving so much of our money. I’m tired of destinations like Dubai, the Dominican Republic, Cancun, Iceland, Paris, and all these other non-Black destinations getting millions of Black dollars.
“I would like to see more Black Travel agents and influencers work for Black-owned companies. I’m tired of seeing Black travel agents or tour companies use affiliate marketing websites for non-Black companies. Many travel agents, influencers, and tour companies actually work for non-Black-owned companies but cry support for Black businesses. You pay your money to the Black travel agent thinking you’re buying Black, but out of your $2000.00, $1,700.00 go to the Non-Black travel company holding all the contracts and only $300.00 go to the Black travel agent. You think you are supporting but if you look closely and do your homework, many of your favorite travel Black travel groups are Asian and European-owned.”
Deijha Gordon, Black Expat and CEO of Deijha Vu’s Jerk Hut in Ghana
“As we face these uncertain times, it seems as if we are becoming more divided than ever.
“Sometimes it feels like we are going backward instead of moving forward. I remember last year before making my move to Ghana, thinking how privileged I am to have an American passport, and now the rankings have dropped right before my eyes.
“I look forward to the day where our people travel the world freely without any limitations. We all should have access to the entire world.”
Travis Levius, Travel Writer and Content Creator
“Recently, editors of different magazines and outlets have been reaching out to Black travel writers to cover Black-related content; travel panel organizers have tapped Black voices to talk about race in the industry. While all that’s great, what I’d really like to see is editors tapping Black writing talent to cover all aspects of travel, and booking us to speak on topics other than diversity. We’re experts in different facets of tourism, too.”
“As an avid traveler for both business and pleasure, there are a few changes I would love to see from the airlines, cruise lines, and destinations. The first one is respect. African American travel dollars exceeds a billion dollars.
“If we were to add all people of color, it is far more. We are literally employing all of you. Direct marketing and advertising are also changes I would like to see happening. Thank goodness for platforms like Travel Noire that allows us to see us in exotic destinations around the world.
“Finally, and I say this with all due respect to my Caribbean islands (I’m from Bermuda). Yes, Black tourists may look like you but we are still guests. Please treat us the way you would treat white visitors. Often times I’ve visited islands and I love to feel at home and to see people my color but I’ve noticed that white visitors get the royal treatment.
“As an example, I was visiting an island for the first time and the line was long at a local bar. The owner said to the white tourist behind me to come to the front since it was their first time on the island. I was like, well damn, it’s my first time to the island as well. At the moment, I didn’t know how to feel. I was initially ok just because I was thinking, maybe she thought I was local, but that swiftly went away as I thought about the fact that I wanted the same first time to the island treatment that the white visitors received. Unbeknown to the owner of the restaurant, I was actually brought to the island by the Tourism Director. Needless to say, when we had our discussions about how to increase African America Travel, this was discussed.”