Social media timelines continue to show that Black travelers are increasingly becoming a well-traveled demographic. However, Black travel professionals understand well how often the community’s value to the industry, both economically and culturally, is overlooked. Aiming to find a unique way to promote the contributions of Black travel professionals and the economic impact of Black travelers on tourism, Black Travel Summit founder Anita Francois recently announced the official designation of November 11 as National Black Travel Day. The auspicious day is an homage to Barrington Irving, the birthday of the first Black person to solo-circumnavigate the globe by plane in 2007.
In the early stages of a new holiday, the question of how to appropriately celebrate the day comes into question. Francois nods to increased visibility for impactful Black travel brands and industry acknowledgment both within and outside of the Black community.
“In an ideal world, I would like to see impactful and up-and-coming Black travel brands and individuals being acknowledged in and outside of our community,” Francois shared with Travel Noire. “Corporations emphasizing their DEI milestones from the year leading up and how they’ve diversified who they employ and partner with; Black travelers booking a trip, ideally with a Black travel advisor.”
Francois also shares that National Black Travel Day is best observed in any way that celebrates the Black travel community. To celebrate the unmatched experiences of Black travel and amplify Black spending power, consider supporting one of these TN-approved Black-owned travel companies.
Black Austin Tours
With the familial wisdom of nearly 200 years in the Austin area, Black Austin Tours founder Javier Wallace is a proud Austinite. Black Austin Tours offers several types of tours throughout the city. Each tour educates visitors on key areas of the city and the origins, contributions, and impact of Austin’s Black community.
From downtown to the Colorado River, Black Austin Tours humanizes the history of Black people’s existence in this region of the US. Wallace is doing the good work of ensuring that the story of his home city is a well-rounded one; one that appropriately holds space for Austin’s Black history.
Black History Walks – London
With sixteen walking tours to choose from, many travelers hail Black History Walks as the best way to learn about the significance of Caribbean and African history in London. Through interactive discussion and educational experiences, this tour company uncovers 3,500 years of Black history.
Founded by Tony Warner in 2007, Black History Walks has since garnered worthy acclaim for its diverse program of walking tours, talks, educational courses, resources, and film events. In addition to its popular walking tours, the company also offers bi-monthly river cruises and bus tours. In addition to his tourism-based work, Warner also served as the first-ever Activist in Residence at a London-based university.
Two Oceans Travel & Tours
Two Oceans Travel & Tours is a premier tour company known for meticulously curated itineraries and personalized service. Their portfolio of destinations spans continents, although it has a long-running foothold on experiences in Africa.
Their team will craft an experience that immerses you in the landscapes, cultures, and wildlife that Africa boasts. From ancient deserts to vibrant cities, founder Maurice Foley ensures that every traveler discovers the soul-stirring nature of Africa. Whether you want to see the Serengeti or Marrakech, Two Oceans has curated tailored itineraries for more than two decades.
Black Heritage Tour of Amsterdam
Since 2013, founder Jennifer Tosch has amplified the otherwise little-known history of African legacies in Amsterdam. Working with a team of scholars, historians, public officials, businesses, and heritage tourism professionals, Tosch has left an imprint on those who take her tours. Currently exclusively offering private boat tours, the Black Heritage Tour explores hidden history through the canals of the city. Reservations must be confirmed at least two weeks in advance.
For nearly a decade, Jelani Travel has made travel to Africa easy with curated vacations for the culture. Currently operating in 16 countries, Jelani Travel tailors its travel experiences to focus on self-care, service, culture, and adventure. Popular group experiences that often sell out include itineraries in Kenya and Zanzibar, typically held in the summer.
Jelani Travel’s chief curator, Ashley N. Company, has traveled to over 100 countries and loves customizing luxurious and authentic experiences for individuals and groups. The company also works in tandem with the nonprofit organization Jelani Gives to empower the next generation and provide educational and cultural opportunities to Black children.
Commemorating National Black Travel Day without acknowledging the growth in wellness travel would be a major miss. Although not exclusively a travel company, OMNoire has become known as the go-to destination for vetted Black women-owned retreat experiences worldwide.
The visionary behind the brand, Christina M. Rice, expanded beyond her retreat hosting role to make space for and support other Black women facilitators. OMNoire’s list of upcoming retreat experiences includes destinations such as Portugal, Negril, Costa Rica, and Barbados.
Nomadness Travel Tribe
This travel lifestyle brand and community for Black and Brown nomads is more than 35,000 members strong on Facebook alone. With the sole pre-requisite of at least one passport stamp, founder Evita Robinson has simplified finding your people globally. Robinson also recently concluded the fourth installment of Nomadness Fest, a multi-day festival for travelers of color and allies to connect, learn, and share resources.
Experienced globetrotters looking for Tribe in various destinations know it’s fairly easy to do as a Nomadness community member. Whether you’re in Bali or Merida, Mexico, there are likely other Tribe members nearby, on the way, or with lasting connections they’re happy to share. No matter where you are in the world, there’s likely a Nomadness connection worth exploring.