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Efforts to diversify the travel industry have ramped up over the past year, but it is clear there is still a long way to go. According to research from Travel Weekly, only 15 percent of Black travel professionals polled in a November survey said they believe the industry is diverse. But a new Black Tourism Talent Directory aims to address this gap and make the industry more inclusive.
The online directory from the National Blacks in Travel and Tourism Collaborative is designed to serve as a one-stop resource for convention and visitors bureaus, travel brands, event companies and more to hire Black talent and Black-owned businesses. Categories listed on the newly launched website include accommodations, activities and tours, consulting services, design and printing, entertainment, food and beverage, products and speakers. Black professionals seeking employment or internship opportunities can also join the website, which promises to serve as a "matchmaking tool" for the travel industry.
"We no longer want to hear that Black talent is hard to find," said the organization in an email announcing the directory. "BTTD is designed to level the playing field by showcasing and amplifying undiscovered Black travel and tourism businesses, professionals and students."
The National Blacks in Travel and Tourism Collaborative is calling for Black businesses and industry professionals to sign up on the site here. The organization also announced plans to launch a webinar series designed to uplift Black talent, through sessions on how to obtain minority supplier certification, business enhancement tips and more.
"We believe this online directory will be game-changing for the industry and introduce new Black faces, voices and talent that have been waiting to be discovered and to fully participate in the global tourism industry," said Stephanie M. Jones, founder and CEO of the National Blacks in Travel and Tourism Collaborative, on the website's blog.