Undoubtedly, the global travel industry is fast-growing, and travel agencies have become very important service providers when planning a great travel experience. The industry has also become more sensitive to diversity, equity and inclusion and is making a conscious effort to absorb and encourage black tourism all over the world. As a result, many black-owned travel agencies have emerged and are constantly putting their best foot forward.
Here are 5 black-owned travel businesses and their unique stories.
1. Travel Noire: Travel Noire is a digital media company that serves people of the African Diaspora. It might not be a travel agency, but they have greatly impacted the travel experience of black people around the world by providing unique and helpful travel content. TN was founded in 2013 by American- born Nigerian, Zim Flores, who gave her reason for starting the company thus, “Travel Noire was born out of the time that I spent living in India. I wondered why the Black people in travel magazines were always traveled to but never the traveler. I thought about a world where the definition of the international traveler was transformed.”
Travel Noire aims to make international travel more inclusive and able to fully represent explorers of color. The TN team helps travelers plan trips and experience new destinations through their digital media content and community app and by working closely with Black-owned hotels and travel brands to put out the best dealsand travel opportunities.
2. Airfodable: Airfodable is an online platform founded to bring affordable dream vacations to everyone through a convenient flight booking payment plan. Ama Marfo, a Ghanaian-American entrepreneur, is the co-founder and CEO of this company founded in 2015. In one of her interviews, she said “I started the company, which was inspired by a personal frustration I experienced while in college. I couldn’t afford the cost of the flight to travel back to Ghana to visit my family during the school breaks. I didn’t have a ton of savings or an extensive line of credit, so I set out on a journey to figure out how to make travel affordable knowing I had these two restrictions.”
Travelers can find their flights online on any travel site, take a screenshot and upload it on Airfodable. After approval, Airfodable calculates a payment plan up to a maximum of 3 months, starting with an upfront deposit, and final payment just before the take-off date. This arrangement allows you to enjoy your dream vacations and book urgent trips most conveniently.
3. Tastemakers Africa: This New York-based company was started by Cherae Robinson, an HBCU graduate in 2014. The platform is a travel marketplace curating prices and opportunities that connect travelers to African entrepreneurs and services. It was born out of a passion to help Millennials experience the African continent in more exciting ways. With Tastemakers Africa, you can book almost any service you want before embarking on your journey to Africa ranging from music concerts to the best fashion bloggers and designers as well as tour options going safaris and the inner corners of Africa.
4. Dipaway: Chadricks Everette began traveling around the world after leaving a successful career to have some personal time. He enjoyed being able to live a free life, explore and do what he loved, so he founded Dipaway to encourage others to do the same. The company was launched in 2018 and trips began in 2019. Dipaway helps you find and plan getaways and group trips in the most exciting ways. From flight booking to hotels and tours, Dipaway handles it all so that you can focus on having the best experience.
5. Up in the Air Life: This multimillion-dollar travel company was founded by black female entrepreneur, Claire Soares in 2013 with a mission to “inspire, connect and grow”. The company showcases affordable luxury travel options for black travelers seeking to explore the world. The company handles bookings and tours, organizing special getaways from time to time. The company encourages networking among travelers by having groups where people get to know each other and share their travel dreams and expectations.
Several black travel business owners are leading the industry and encouraging travel and tourism amongst people of color. These companies are bringing in their A-game to ensure that you can travel the world and have the most amazing experiences while enjoying the uniqueness of the black culture. It would be unfair to not recognize the hard work being put in by these black-owned travel businesses, to encourage them to continue the good work, and to trigger other rising black travel agencies waiting to make impressive marks in the industry.
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