Black Travel Alliance calls for “meaningful representation” in travel industry

Jun 18 2020, 4:39 pm

Black Travel Alliance, a new travel organization comprising Black content creators, is using its influence to support and highlight Black voices within the travel industry to outline the need for better representation. It is also calling on travel companies to provide more than just a verbal or written statement expressing their support, requesting that they instead put their sentiments into action. 

According to the group’s official website, its purpose is to encourage organizations to utilize the support that resulted from #BlackOutTuesday and extend it outside social media to implement real change and create more “meaningful representation” of Black individuals in the industry.

 

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The site states that $63 billion worth of travel every year comes from Black Americans alone, as cited in a report from 2018 conducted by Mandala Research. However, there is a severe lack of Black representation in travel companies at both the staffing and managerial levels. There is also a significant absence of diversity on media trips and promotional campaigns, the group explains, even in locations that attract or contain large Black communities.

As such, Black Travel Alliance is enacting a new evaluation initiative called the “Black Travel Scorecard” to gauge various travel companies and organizations not just on their public statements but also on how these declarations reflect and impact their internal actions.

As part of this program, the organization is collecting information for five specific areas:

  • Employment – What are the current number and percentages of Black individuals at the staff and managerial levels?
  • Conferences and Events – What were the numbers and percentages of Black representation in media (TV, radio, print, digital) last year?
  • Paid Advertising/Marketing Campaigns – Black representation (number and percentage) in TV, radio, print and digital channels including social media in 2019
  • Press – What was the total number and percentage of Black representation on press or media trips last year?
  • Philanthropy – Charitable donations and support (mentorship and intern programs, etc.) to Black organizations and communities.

 

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Black Travel Alliance is issuing a call to action for companies within the travel industry to disclose their numbers regarding those five sectors by Friday, June 19, utilizing the hashtag #PullUpForTravel.

The selection of June 19 is especially pertinent because it is “Juneteenth,” the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the United States dating all the way back to 1865.

The alliance feels that this information will exhibit “true allyship,” and that these key areas are vital in confronting and eliminating the “systemic lack of diversity in the travel industry.”

 

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The inspiration behind the formation of Black Travel Alliance was brought on by the social unrest resulting from the killing of George Floyd and the public declarations of “Black Lives Matter” by travel organizations.

“Dismantling systemic racism requires more than social media activism,” founding member of the Black Travel Alliance Jeff Jenkins said in a statement. “Destination management organizations and travel brands need to truly become more inclusive in their hiring practices and marketing campaigns.”