Skip to content

Black Travel Alliance honored with TPG award for efforts to diversify the industry

Nov. 11, 2021
5 min read
Black Travel Alliance honored with TPG award for efforts to diversify the industry
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was murdered in a neighborhood of Minneapolis by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer with the city's police department, after the latter knelt on the former's neck for more than nine minutes.

The murder, caught on video by a 17-year-old bystander, set off a chain reaction that reverberated around the world. There were protests in cities across the globe, and a long-overdue reckoning on the treatment of Black people began. While thousands of brands were posting black squares on their social media platforms in solidarity with protesters, a new organization — the Black Travel Alliance — was created almost a month after Floyd was killed by Chauvin.

The newly formed group of Black travel content creators called for destination management organizations and travel brands to take their support beyond social media — by working toward more meaningful representation of Black voices in the travel industry.

And today, TPG is thrilled to honor the organization with our Making a Difference Awards — part of Travel Week at the 2021 TPG Awards.

"According to a 2018 report from Mandala Research, Black Americans alone spend $63 billion on travel each year, yet there is little to no Black representation in the management and staff of larger travel companies," said BTA in a press release. "Similarly, there is a major lack in Black representation on press trips and in marketing campaigns, even from cities and countries that attract or constitute a large number of Black people."

BTA then launched the Black Travel Scorecard as part of its #PullUpForTravel campaign asking destinations management organizations and travel brands to publicly share Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from 2019 on Black representation in their companies and activities in five major areas: employment, conferences & tradeshows, paid advertising/marketing campaigns, press, and philanthropy.

As part of its campaign, BTA publicly called out major travel brands including TripAdvisor, Kayak, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and JetBlue to submit their own scorecard. The Points Guy met with the BTA board and was one of the first travel brands to get aboard with BTA's efforts. Others pledging to help included Caribbean & Co., Matador Network, Memphis Travel, Northstar Travel Group and Visit Jackson, Miss.

BTA identified 121 organizations as posting about #BlackLivesMatter or #BlackOutTuesday, and of these companies, 67 — or 55% — responded to the #PullUpForTravel campaign. Here are some additional highlights from the campaign results released in October 2020 (warning: PDF link):

Sign up for our daily newsletter
  • Employment: Of the 67 campaign respondents, 29 companies gave a percentage range of 0% to 90%. However, most of the responses were for the category of POC employees and not specifically for Black employees.
  • Conferences & tradeshows: Of the 67 respondents, six companies provided figures showing that they ensured Black representation on speaker panels, workshops, and sessions at conferences and trade shows.
  • Paid advertising/marketing campaigns: Of the 67 respondents, 12 companies provided data figures demonstrating that they included Black representation in the areas of TV, radio, print, and digital channels (including social media) in 2019.
  • Press: Of the 67 respondents, six companies provided data indicating that they ensured Black representation on media or press trips in 2019.
  • Philanthropy: Of the 67 respondents, five companies provided figures for charitable contributions/support to black charities and community groups.

In short, there was a lot of room for improvement.

Related: The Points Guy releases diversity, equity and inclusion efforts

Four months later, BTA and MMGY Travel Intelligence released "The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities" report. In it, they found Black U.S. leisure travelers spent $109.4 billion on travel in 2019 — the most recent year reflecting normal spending habits prior to COVID-19. This figure rose to $129 billion when international leisure travel was added.

Then, in January 2021, BTA and MMGY released part two of "The Black Traveler" report. It found that Black travelers — particularly those in the U.S., Canada, the U.K, and Ireland — are paying close attention to how destinations and travel service providers approach diversity, and they indicated that it has an influence on their travel decision-making.

And earlier this year, in July 2021, it partnered with Tourism RESET to unveil the History of Black Travel website. It was created to showcase the development of Black leisure travel and educate the public on how the African Diaspora traveled to every inch of the Earth, progressively making its mark within the travel industry, from the past into the present.

TPG honors the Black Travel Alliance with the Making a Difference Award in 2021 for using the tragedy of George Floyd's murder for good by calling on the industry to show its diversity numbers and to work harder at bringing in more voices to travel.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees