MMGY Global is developing a series of market research studies to be informed by diverse travel advocacy organizations to better identify the needs, behaviors and sentiment of underrepresented travel communities—for both leisure and business travel. The first installment of these studies, powered by MMGY Travel Intelligence, is titled “The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities” and focuses on Black leisure travelers and meetings professionals. The Black Traveler study is set to be published in late October.
“The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities” report will include results from:
- MMGY Global’s 2019 Shifflet Travel Performance/Monitor profiling Black leisure travelers within the United States
- The development of an accurate measure of the economic power of the Black traveler
- A new survey analyzing the current opinions and attitudes of Black leisure travelers globally
- A new survey of Black meetings professionals from the members of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP).
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 National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD) and the NCBMP.
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.
“It is imperative for our industry to better understand the needs, behaviors and concerns of underrepresented traveler communities,” said MMGY Global’s CEO, Clayton Reid, in a press announcement. “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.”
Surveying Leisure and MICE Travel
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,” said Black Travel Alliance president Martinique Lewis. “This is why the Black Travel Alliance is partnering with MMGY 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.”
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.
Jason Dunn, chairman of the NCBMP, added, “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.”