Black Travel Alliance is calling on destination management organizations and travel brands to raise their support of Black voices in the travel industry.
The newly formed group of Black travel content creators has launched a campaign under the #PullUpForTravel hashtag, which asks travel companies work for “meaningful representation of Black voices in the industry."
The alliance points to a 2018 Mandala Research report which reveals that Black Americans spend $63 billion on travel every year.
Yet, it says, there is little to no Black representation among the staff and management of larger travel companies.
Black Travel Alliance plans to launch a Black Travel Scorecard to assess DMOs and travel brands on their actions in five areas.
Broadly speaking, the alliance will score travel companies on Black representation in employment and at conferences and trade shows, in paid advertising and marketing campaigns and on press trips in 2019.
A final element on the scorecard covers philanthropy and charitable contributions or other support in the form of mentoring and intern programs to Black charities.
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The organization asks DMOs and brands to communicate these metrics by June 19 a using #PullUpforTravel.
The date is symbolic as it marks the ending of slavery in the United States.
Jeff Jenkins, content creator and founding member of the alliance, says: “Black Travel Alliance was heartened to see that many destinations and travel brands showed support during #BlackOutTuesday.
"However, dismantling system racism requires more than social media activism. Destination management organizations and travel brands need to truly become more inclusive in their hiring practices and marketing campaigns.”
At a recent BAME Women in Travel Initiative event, Bex Shapiro, senior editorial manager at Intrepid Travel, urged employees at travel companies to "get outside of your lane" and take action.
She said one way to begin is to find out what proactive policies exist and ensure that difficult conversations take place.
The full list of launch members can be found here.