Report: Black leisure travelers spent $109.4 billion on travel in 2019

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Family road trip [Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com]
According to the study, overnight stays by Black travelers accounted for more than 13% of the U.S. leisure travel market in 2019.

A new study from MMGY Global found that Black leisure travelers spent $109.4 billion on travel in 2019 and that their overnight stays, which totaled over 458 million last year, account for more than 13% of the U.S. leisure travel market.

The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities report, created by MMGY Travel Intelligence on behalf of Black traveler advocacy organizations, analyzed findings from a 2019 survey of 4,800 Black leisure travelers in the U.S. as well as a 2020 survey of 200 members of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP).

On the leisure travel front, the study also revealed that Black leisure travelers took an average of three overnight vacations and spent an average of 13.1 nights in paid accommodations in 2019, with Black travel parties spending an average of $600 on each overnight leisure stay.

"We have long suspected the amount that U.S. Black travelers spend on leisure travel was undervalued," Black Travel Alliance president Martinique Lewis said in a statement. "These findings of the U.S. market will become our calling card to destination management organizations and travel brands as we work to increase Black representation at all levels of the travel industry."

Meanwhile, the report's survey of Black meeting professionals found that NCBMP members plan an average of 7.5 meetings per year and typically spend an average of over $900,000 annually on those meetings. The average spend per meeting is over $120,000.

Despite these sizable investments, 84% of meetings planners indicated that some destinations are more welcoming of meetings with a majority of Black attendees than others, and 42% reported that their attendees have felt unwelcome in a destination in which they've attended a meeting in the past.

A second and final phase of MMGY's Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities report is set to be released in January. It will take a closer look at the vacation-planning process and experiences that Black leisure travelers encounter across a variety of international markets.

The first part of the study is currently available for purchase online. Those who purchase the initial report will receive the second half when it becomes available next year.

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