Interest in African American culture and history is an important driver in travel choices, particularly among Black travelers and millennials, according to a new report from Mandala Research.
The research, conducted for the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor in the southeastern U.S., found that 36% of all travelers ranked Black heritage as either "very important" or "somewhat important" in their choice of destination. That rose to 50% among African Americans and 49% among millennials.
The survey of 1,000 U.S. leisure travelers was conducted in June as part of a broader effort to explore the national market for Gullah Geechee heritage tourism.
It valued the potential leisure spend for the four states that make up the corridor -- North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida -- at $34 billion, while also revealing strong name recognition among travelers nationwide for Gullah Geechee culture.
Looking specifically at Gullah Geechee destinations, the survey found that 37% of travelers who lived in nearby states were familiar with Gullah Geechee culture and that 51% of African American culture enthusiasts were aware of it. Levels of awareness were also high among African American, LGBTQ, millennial and affluent travelers.
Sixty-five percent of respondents said experiencing local cuisine in the Gullah Geechee corridor was their most desired experience.