The National Blacks in Travel & Tourism Collaborative (BTT) working in partnership with the Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism, Inc. (CHAT), a Black-owned receptive tour operator based in Miami, is launching the “Black Cultural Heritage Road Trip” on May 30. The Black Cultural Heritage Tours (BCHT) team will travel throughout the United States curating local, immersive Black cultural heritage tour itineraries and experiences through connections with the people and places that have shaped Black communities from the past to the present.
“Our mission is to create inclusion and engagement of local Black cultural heritage community assets in the multibillion-dollar tourism industry, spurring economic growth and sustainability for small businesses and cultural institutions in underserved Black communities,” said Stephanie Jones, president of CHAT and founder of BTT, in a press announcement.
The Black Cultural Heritage Tours itineraries aim to illuminate, amplify, protect and preserve cultural heritage throughout the United States through storytelling and authentic local experiences that are life-affirming and sustainable.
Many travel and tourism brands and destination marketing organizations understand and agree that more needs to be done to make the industry more diverse and inclusive, said BTT. Equitable opportunities for small, local Black- and Brown-owned businesses, attractions and residents should be shared and created for all to participate and profit as the industry recovers and rebounds. These Black cultural heritage tour itineraries are another example of how the National Blacks in Travel & Tourism Collaborative is working to level the playing field as well as supporting sustainable diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of DMOs and travel brands.
CheapOair is supporting the road trip in conjunction with the launch of the first-of-its-kind page on its Miles Away blog dedicated to spotlighting cultural heritage travel. As part of an initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in worldwide travel, future stories on the blog will spotlight these lesser-known opportunities to explore destinations and cultural heritage within the U.S. and abroad.
The BCHT team will work with DMOs and connect with small Black- and Brown-owned businesses, cultural institutions and community organizations to uncover and amplify the rich, complex, and diverse local stories, attractions and experiences that culturally curious travelers often seek when visiting destinations. Partners include Brand USA, the National Tour Association, Memphis Tourism, and St. Augustine, Ponte Verda & the Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau.
The goal of the road trip is to connect and curate Black cultural heritage tour itineraries throughout the U.S. for domestic and international travelers, tour operators, destination management companies and travel advisors. The focus on Black tour operators, restaurants, hotels, museums and other tourism-related businesses will provide an economic benefit to help these businesses and communities thrive. The team will also document their travels to produce content that spotlights businesses, locals, attractions and neighborhoods they visit.
Black cultural heritage tour itineraries in development for the six-month road trip throughout the U.S. include Florida (May 30-June 5); Southeast (Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina) June 15-25; Northeast (New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) in July; South I (Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana) and South II (Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas) in August; Midwest (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio) in September; West I (Southwest California, Arizona and New Mexico) in October. More regional itineraries will be added and announced at a later date.
For more information, visit www.experienceblackculture.com.