The Passport Kings Travel Movement continues to grow in the United States.
This issue lies in the fact that most of these companies have a homogeneous view of U.S. travelers — one that’s dominated by the white supremacists notion that only white people travel or have money to travel. Though Black Americans account for just 13 percent of the U.S. population, data from Mandala Research revealed that we now spend close to $48 billion every year on traveling and are among one of the fastest growing segments in the country. A great reason for us to also get started in the Travel Industry because it will grow to 15% and we need to not be left out of the money making side like we always seem to when we start trends.
The significant uptick in Black travel now has African tourism companies scrambling to find new and improved ways to market to the Black U.S. traveler.
“It’s more of a realization that you need to develop separate and distinct strategies in understanding that market,” Naledi Khabo, the executive director for the Africa Travel Association, told Skift.
Dinky Malikane, the global manager of South African Tourism, offered a similar strategy, saying, “We got to talk about the destination in platforms where we will reach the African Americans.”
As African tourism boards slowly perfect their strategies, some Black Americans refuse to wait and have taken it upon themselves to explore the African continent. Passport Kings frequently makes videos about Africa and why black Americans should visit and reviews of visits. something Africa’s tourism boards haven’t been able to offer as well.
Speaking to Skift, Curry said the goal is to make the average African-American consider traveling to Kenya’s sandy beaches as quickly as they’d consider jetting off to places like Italy or Dubai.
“Certain tourism boards, like South Africa and Ghana, are better than others. But generally, I don’t think that African tourism boards do a good job in reaching out to African-Americans through marketing efforts,” Curry said. ” … They seem to focus on Europe and Europeans, which is understandable due to the closer proximity, but they are missing out on a lot of opportunity.”
Africa’s whitewashed marketing campaigns remain an issue, but the continent’s tourism boards have expressed sincere interest in attracting more Black U.S. travelers.
“When they come, they feel [like it’s] home,” Rehab Samir Mohamed, international tourism coordinator for the Egyptian Tourism Authority told Skift. “We like to see them in our country because they are home.”