Six Reasons To Form Partnerships with Black Travel MediaNovember 14, 2023
Destinations looking to improve their DEI must – among other things – form healthy working partnerships with Black travel media. It’s not just something to forget after Black History Month has ended. The struggle for better representation is a yearlong one.
Sharing the right story angles with the right media is a winning strategy to gain the attention of Black travelers. An honest, authentic approach is necessary to create real, lasting relationships that help destinations reach their goals.
These six reasons spell out why the right partnerships with Black travel media support everyone involved, from destinations and travelers to local communities and the wider travel industry.
1. Amplify Representation and Diversity
First and foremost, engaging with Black travel media ensures a more diverse representation within the travel industry in general. It opens up more perspectives, amplifies cultures, and showcases experiences that aren’t always told.
Destinations worldwide are inherently diverse, and engaging with equally diverse media provides a better reflection of that multiplicity. To ignore this branch of the media is to mute Black travelers and also the Black communities in the destinations we serve.
2. Engage in More Authentic Storytelling
Black travel writers are able to tell stories from unique cultural standpoints that many travel writers are not equipped to tell. By creating partnerships with Black travel media, destinations can unlock those stories that otherwise aren’t being told because writers can’t access or tell them in the right way.
This leads to more authentic storytelling, ensuring that every angle of a destination is covered while allowing travelers to cultivate a deeper appreciation for local culture. Reporting can expand to share untold stories about a culinary experience, a niche museum, or some other key community component like small businesses that haven’t been highlighted yet.
3. Promote Lesser-Known Destinations
A new lens is often the best way to magnify a destination’s profile. And a partnership with Black travel media is one way to promote a destination that has otherwise been off the radar. By telling cultural and historical stories that drive travelers to different communities, we encourage more sustainable tourism practices by spurring visitation to historically overlooked communities.
This practice supports locals. It supports marginalized people. It supports a more equitable distribution of travelers’ spending as well.
4. Empower Communities
A partnership with Black travel media also supports the growth and empowerment of Black communities within the travel industry. From associations of Black travel advisors to small Black-owned businesses, a greater focus on this group provides greater empowerment to its members.
This augmented platform for Black voices, businesses, and entrepreneurs helps foster economic and social advancement, which ultimately leads to more prosperity across a destination.
5. Challenge Stereotypes and Educate
A partnership with Black travel media allows a destination to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions often perpetuated in mainstream travel narratives. Presenting a broader and more accurate portrayal of predominantly Black cities and cultures helps combat bias and encourages knowledge.
Breaking down these false narratives not only helps make a destination more attractive to travelers, it’s also the right thing to do. Promote the truth and highlight the positive contributions of every community to a destination because it’s morally upright.
6. Encourage Collaboration and Partnerships
Developing partnerships with Black travel media is a massive step towards promoting dialogue, cooperation, and joint initiatives to promote inclusivity and equality. Destinations need to set the example so that the industry will follow suit.
The Black travel market is also an influential market, and by catering to it more actively, destinations can help uncover and identify business opportunities to help meet their needs. In 2019, for example, 458.2 million Black U.S. travelers spent $109.4 on travel, representing 13.1% of the U.S. leisure travel market.
That’s a lot.
The media is also evolving. Black creators on social media saw higher follower growth and interaction rates between 2020 and 2022, indicating new opportunities to work with influencers. All of this suggests that partnerships with Black travel media are positive steps towards achieving a destination’s goals while also – more importantly – doing the right thing.
Considering ways your destination can increase its profile and visibility among Black travelers from North America? DCI has more than 60 years of experience thinking outside the box to achieve these sorts of marketing goals. Get in touch with Beatriz Guerrero at [email protected] to learn more about how we can support your push towards working better with Black travel media, event planners, and other industry leaders.