African Americans combined with U.S. Hispanics contribute more than $100 billion annually to the country’s travel market, according to Mandala Research which has been studying multicultural travel trends for over 20 years. Of course, each group has its own character.

Black travelers, for instance, tend to be Southerners looking for experiences that pamper and entertain and that are not too far from home. Hispanic travelers are more likely to take multi-generational trips, so activities appropriate for a range of ages is important. Both favor large group travel, however, preferring to share experiences with friends, colleagues, or family.  

Broward County offers events that cater to the interests of these multicultural interests. In addition, as one of the top three most diverse areas of the country, Broward County also has a national profile as a center for the promotion and expansion of the multicultural tourism market.

The 3rd Annual Taste the Islands Experience (April 26-28) at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society is one example. It’s an all-inclusive, three-day culinary adventure based on the popular international Caribbean TV show for foodies, “Taste the Islands.”  The museum and downtown Riverwalk will feature demonstrations by celebrity chefs blending flavors from African American and Hispanic cultural traditions as well as musical performances and storytelling, tropical drinks, and an artisan shopping village.

The 2019 Synergy Summit for Cultural and Heritage Tourism (May 9-11) in Fort Lauderdale will provide an insider’s look at innovative projects and new opportunities in the multicultural market. This is the second year for the summit, sponsored by the Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism, Inc. (CHAT) in partnership with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.  

Participants include national and statewide tourism, travel and hospitality industry power players as well as small business owners, artists, cultural institutions, and government representatives exploring cultural and heritage tourism assets and best practices.  

Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association and Heritage Tourism Specialist will give one of the keynote addresses and Laura Mandala, President and CEO of Mandala Research, will be among the session presenters sharing more details on the African American travel market.

African American and Hispanic entrepreneurs who are travel and tourism innovators and change agents in the industry will also be featured, including  Jamila Ross and Akino West, the young owners of the Copper Door Bed and Breakfast in Miami; Diedre Mathis of Wanderstay Hotels based in Houston, TX, the first African American-owned hostel in the U.S.; Argentinian-born Grace Della, founder and owner of Miami Culinary Tours; and Reggie Cummings, founder and CEO of the Black Travel Movement, a Facebook group with almost half a million Black travelers.