Photo Credit: Black Cultural Heritage Tours
An Immersive U.S. Black Cultural Heritage Road Trip Is Launching
The National Blacks in Travel and Tourism Collaborative (BTT) and the Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism, Inc. (CHAT) are teaming up to provide a unique experience centered around Black history. On May 30, they will debut the Black Cultural Heritage Road Trip, an immersive experience featuring the people and places in the United States that have shaped Black culture.
Each tour itinerary will provide a 1 to 14-day customized experience for domestic and international visitors to guide their exploration of these historic sites. For example, a 14-day trip to Florida will include shopping and dining at local Black businesses (tour partners), visits to neighborhoods off the beaten tourist path, and authentic cultural and culinary experiences in cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa.
Travelers will also visit attractions in places like Volusia County, West Palm Beach, St. Augustine, Amelia Island, and Key West.
Some tours in development for the six-month road trip throughout the United States include Florida (May 30-June 5); Southeast (GA, NC & SC) June 15-25; Northeast (NY, NJ & PA) in July; South I (AL, MS & LA) and South II (TN, KY & AR) in August; Midwest (MI, IL, IN & OH) in September; and West I (SW CA, AZ & NM) in October. Other regional itineraries will be announced at a later date.
The road trip is also part of a movement to make the tourism industry more diverse and inclusive. Black leisure travelers spent more than $100 billion on travel in 2019. The intention is to ensure that Black tour operators, restaurants, hotels, museums, and other tourism-related businesses benefit financially from the lucrative industry. And by extension, support the communities.
“Prior to the global pandemic, most small Black travel and tourism businesses were not actively participating in their local tourism ecosystems nor were they profiting from the multibillion-dollar industry,” Stephanie Jones, Founder of the National Black in Travel & Tourism Collaborative told Travel Noire. “The Black Lives Matter Movement heightened awareness of the lack of diversity, inclusion, and equitable opportunities for Blacks in travel and tourism. The U.S. Black Cultural Heritage Road Trip is created to assess how Black businesses are faring, identify local Black-owned restaurants, tour and transportation operators, and hotels that BTT can amplify and drive more tourism dollars to businesses and underserved neighborhoods throughout the U.S.”
The tour has received support from several industry allies including Brand USA, Tourism Cares, Carlson Family Foundation, CheapOAir, several DMOs, travel associations, and media.
Catherine Prather, president of the National Tour Association, said, “Traveling through America provides an enriching experience, yet for complete, accurate, and authentic storytelling, we must diversify our industry to include more Black- and Brown-owned travel businesses. I am excited and honored to collaborate with BTT on behalf of the NTA community because bringing light to our rich multicultural heritage makes our industry stronger and further supports not only the intrinsic value, but also the economic power of travel—for everyone.”
“As the travel and tourism industry rebounds and recovers, this is our window of opportunity to level the playing field by helping Black businesses and attractions get prepared and positioned to participate and profit in the industry,” Jones added.
Find out more about the U.S. Black Cultural Heritage Road Trip on the site.