African-Americans are traveling more, thanks to an increase
in disposable income and the development of more black cultural and historical
sites, according to a Mandala Research survey.
Still, 15% said a fear of racial profiling will impact their
decision to travel in the next 12 months. That's higher than fear of airport
hassles (13%) or terrorism (11%).
The study also indicated that feeling welcome and knowing
there will be other African-Americans at their destination is important to
black travelers, with 13% saying they "sometimes fear for my safety
traveling to places where there are not a lot of other African-Americans."
The study is a follow-up to Mandala's first look at the African-American traveler, published in 2011.
Since then, spending by African-American travelers has
increased from $48 billion to $63 billion.
Mandala said the increase reflects more than inflation,
which alone would have brought the number to just $55 billion.
"Clearly, greater disposable income available to
African-Americans over this period has resulted in higher travel spending,"
the study said.
"We believe additional spending, however, has also been
spurred by developments that occurred during and since the Obama
administration. The visibility of an African-American president elevated a
sense of pride in African-American heritage and spurred the establishment of
significant historical and cultural organizations devoted to the African-American
experience in the U.S."
The widely promoted National Museum of African American
History and Culture in Washington, D.C., also likely contributed to a rise in
African-American travel, the study said. Publicity around the 50th anniversary
of the King Center and other African-American heritage and cultural sites "demonstrated
they are welcoming of African-American travelers."
The top reasons African-Americans cited as negatively impacting
their ability to take a leisure trip were being too busy (28%), financial
concerns (25%) and concern about the economy (21%).
The survey of 1,018 African-American travelers was conducted
online and has a 3% margin of error.