LAKE BUENA VISTA -- African-Americans tend to use travel agents
only after deciding where they want to visit, according to Barry M.
Feinberg, interviewed during the Florida Governor's Conference on
Tourism, where he presented a study of African-American perceptions
of Florida as a vacation spot.
Feinberg, senior vice president and director of the public
affairs division at Audits & Surveys Worldwide of New York,
said his study showed that "once African-Americans decide where to
go, they get a travel agent to book hotels, airlines, etc."
In addition, in African-American households, females are
inclined to take on the vacation planning task, he said.
Of particular interest to African-Americans looking to vacation
are ethnic cultural events, festivals and historical sites, he
said. "There's a very strong interest among African-Americans for
vacations -- not necessarily in Florida -- that include
African-American sites that could be part of a larger trip," he
Vacationers who live in the Southeast are more likely to consult
with family and friends about travel to Florida than visitors who
live in the Northeast, he added, attributing that to the proximity
of Southern visitors who have more ready access to word-of-mouth
Feinberg's study focused on residents of Atlanta and
Philadelphia. Study participants rated entertainment and climate as
their highest priorities, followed by good weather and beaches.
About half of those who visited the state in the past said they
are "very likely" to return within a year.