With Black spending power in travel at 1.3 billion in revenue, success in the realm of travel is more prevalent in the Black community now more than ever. The “Catch Flights” Black Travel Summit on June 5th served as a platform to elevate Black businesses, influencers, travel enthusiasts, and hospitality beacons like Hyatt and American Airlines together.
“The ultimate goal is connecting vendors, business owners, entrepreneurs, and fortune 500 companies with small business owners like ourselves. My heart is happy when I see people networking because I know that this could be that opportunity for them to elevate just a little bit higher” said Black Travel Summit founder and CEO Anita Francois in her charming British accent.
Located in the heart of the Design District, the summit set the theme aesthetically with chic “flight attendants” upon entry, greeting attendees, providing swag bags, and passing out rich Mediterranean bites in carts as though in-flight. The event was kicked off with international fashion flair by Furkat & Robbie, who put on a runway show featuring kimonos in a kaleidoscope of color and pattern.
Hospitality stalwarts like Hyatt’s Danielle Banks, Director of Performance Optimization, and Tyronne Stoudemire, VP of Global Diversity for Hyatt, shared the ways in which the company is committed to catering to the black traveler.
“Hyatt cares for people so that they can be their best. When it comes to Black travelers, we are focusing on the colleagues of Black descent for input and getting out there in the community at events like the Black Travel Summit and other organizations to make sure that the Black voice is heard”, said Banks, featured above.
Hospitality guru and founder of guest-experience software Sabiya Samella Watson shared industry insights and broke down the various sectors within the Black travel industry for those looking to delve into the market. Accommodation, Food and Beverage, Experience Provider, Products, Technology, and Content Creator all comprise the diverse ways to monetize the industry. From developing an app to cultivation in culinary arts, there are numerous ways to utilize her love for travel in business.
Self-described modelpreneur, world traveler, and hustler Kylie Alexis shared her enthralling career and story with the poise of a Wilhemina model, denoting her path to success. Her company, Priceless One Management staffs events nationwide, from Miami to LA to New York and Atlanta with diverse talent. Kylie’s hustle knows no bounds, continuing business deals and meetings all the way in South Africa solo with no cellphone after it was stolen by pickpockets.
In between scintillating speakers and extravagant fashion shows, attendees were able to grab a drink from sponsor Duke and Dame Whiskey, and shop amongst black owned businesses like Black travel box, Pure Khemia organic candles and body scrubs, Travel Butter Co. skin care, and Chic in Prints African clothing.
Whether you are currently looking to break into the travel business, are a seasoned hospitality professional, or simply a lover of travel, the options are limitless for the Black travel space. Black travel summit founder and CEO Anita Francois’s “Catch Flights” event showcased the innate diversity and talent embedded within the Black travel community, highlighting its rise across the globe.