MMGY Launches Study To Identify Needs Of Black Travelers

by Olamilekan Okeowo

In a bid to understand the needs, behaviors and concerns of ‘an underrepresented traveler’ communities, MMGY Global, a leading integrated global marketing firm specializing in the travel, hospitality, and entertainment industries has announced the launch of a groundbreaking study on the black traveler under a new partnership with key advocacy groups.

The study, titled “The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities, and Priorities” focuses on Black leisure travelers and meetings professionals will analyze the current opinions and attitudes of Black leisure travelers globally.

To ensure the two new surveys appropriately document the true sentiment of the Black traveler, survey questions are being developed with oversight and input from a steering committee of diverse industry experts and through partnerships with travel advocacy organizations, including the Black Travel Alliance (BTA), the NCBMP and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers (NABHOOD).

The study is first in a series to be conducted by MMGY travel intelligence to understand and advocate for underrepresented traveling communities and the result is set to be published in late October.

According to MMGY Global’s CEO, Clayton Reid, the need to create products tailor-made to connect with the needs of a diverse market cannot be overemphasized.

“It is imperative for our industry to better understand the needs, behaviors, and concerns of underrepresented traveler communities. As companies begin to evaluate their approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion internally, they also need to create products, experiences, services, and marketing campaigns that connect with the needs of diverse markets. Companies, including ours, have a moral obligation to ensure their brands reflect the communities they serve. We are proud to be able to partner with our sponsors and advocacy groups to bring this research to life,” he said.

MMGY Global and its supporting sponsors, including Choice Hotels International, Tripadvisor, and Virginia Tourism Office, have committed that all net proceeds will be donated back to the three partner organizations – BTA, NABHOOD, and NCBMP – as well as several other not-for-profit groups.

While analyzing Black travelers’ sentiments about leisure travel, the survey will look at the decision process in planning a vacation and capture their experiences while traveling. A random sample of 4,500 Black travelers from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom/Ireland will be surveyed.

“Black people are boldly traveling the globe, but unfortunately, when we look at the travel industry as a whole, we do not see ourselves – nor do we see an effort by the companies and services we support to make us feel welcomed and valued. This is why the Black Travel Alliance is partnering with MMGY Global to gather data to help right these wrongs. Not only will the study highlight the travel preferences, attitudes, behaviors, and needs of Black travelers, it will also offer insights on the size and value of this important market in North America and Europe. This will help us move beyond making the emotional and moral argument to presenting a strong business case for greater representation of Black people in all areas and levels of the travel industry,” said Black Travel Alliance President Martinique Lewis.

The impact of Black travelers is not limited to leisure travel; they also play a major role in groups and meetings travel. However, the process for planning events aimed at this subset of travelers presents its own unique issues. Through the NCBMP, The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities study will also illuminate the challenges meeting planners face; identify the top priorities they have when booking groups of various sizes in different types of destinations, and the characteristics of a truly successful meeting or conference event according to these planners.

“Since its founding, NCBMP has made a significant impact in the hospitality community in the pursuit of equity, relevancy, and empowerment. Through this study, we will be able to strengthen and empower the collective voices of Black meetings professionals by providing a comprehensive analysis of our contribution to the meetings industry and providing solutions for the challenges we and those that we plan for face,” said Jason Dunn, Chairman of the NCBMP.

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