MMGY The Black Traveler study in partnership with the Black Travel Alliance.

Black Travel Alliance Partners With MMGY Global For The Black Traveler Study

The Black Travel Alliance (BTA) along with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP) and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers (NABHOOD), have partnered with market research firm MMGY Global for a groundbreaking study to be titled The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities.

Black Leisure Travelers

Publicly announced via press release from MMGY Global, The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities study will be published early November 2020 and provide insight based on a random sample of 4,500 Black leisure travelers from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom/Ireland.

“Black people are boldly traveling the globe, but unfortunately, when we look at the travel industry as a whole, we do not see ourselves – nor do we see an effort by the companies and services we support to make us feel welcomed and valued. This is why the Black Travel Alliance is partnering with MMGY Global to gather data to help right these wrongs. Not only will the study highlight the travel preferences, attitudes, behaviors, and needs of Black travelers, it will also offer insights on the size and value of this important market in North America and Europe. This will help us move beyond making the emotional and moral argument to presenting a strong business case for greater representation of Black people in all areas and levels of the travel industry,” said Black Travel Alliance President Martinique Lewis.

The Black Travel Alliance contributed heavily to the development of the survey suggesting questions to be included and provided feedback during four rounds of edits.  A diverse group of industry experts on the study steering committee also provided input, including Black Travel Alliance research partner, Alana Dillette, Ph.D., who is a Co-Director and Research Fellow at Tourism Reset, a multi-university and interdisciplinary organization that studies race, ethnicity, and social equity in tourism.  Dr. Dillette is also an Assistant Professor in the Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University.  Stefanie Benjamin, Ph.D., Co-Director and Research Fellow at Tourism Reset also provided input on questions to be included in the Black Traveler study.  Dr. Benjamin is also an Assistant Professor in the Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management department at the University of Tennessee.  

Black Meeting Planners

Along with insight from the random sample of 4,500 Black leisure travelers, The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities will also shed light on the challenges Black meeting planners face; identify the top priorities they have when booking groups of various sizes in different types of destinations, and the characteristics of a truly successful meeting or conference event according to these planners.”Since its founding, NCBMP has made a significant impact in the hospitality community in the pursuit of equity, relevancy and empowerment. Through this study, we will be able to strengthen and empower the collective voices of Black meetings professionals by providing a comprehensive analysis of our contribution to the meetings industry and providing solutions for the challenges we and those that we plan for face,” said Jason Dunn, Chairman of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP).

Black Travel Alliance Research Committee

The Black Traveler study is just one project being undertaken by the Black Travel Alliance Research Committee, which includes six of the organizations’ eighteen board members.  The Black Travel Alliance also plans to do a formal study of their #PullUpForTravel campaign, which asked destination management organizations and travel brands to report on their Black KPIs related to employment, conferences/tradeshows, paid advertising/marketing campaigns, press and philanthropy.  Historical research is also being undertaken on Black travelers through the ages.   According to Ursula Petula Barzey, who is Chair of the Black Travel Alliance Research Committee, “along with conducting data-driven research to learn more about the experiences, interests and wants of Black travelers today, we also have to educate ourselves and share knowledge about Black travelers of the past.  It’s important to our mission of alliance, amplification, and accountability within the travel industry.” 

The six members of the Black Travel Alliance Research Committee include:

Research Committee Chair:  Ursula Petula Barzey, Founder & Digital Content Creator at

Ursula developed a love of quantitative research while working as a research assistant for the Program for Research on Black Americans during her four years at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  For her senior honors thesis, she conducted original research to determine whether the race of a political candidate affects the coverage by analyzing the 1984 Helms-Hunt and 1990 Helms-Gantt Senate races.  Now working as a digital marketing consultant, research and data analysis are at the center of her work with mostly travel and lifestyle brands.  Ursula is also the founder of the award-winning digital platform and blog Caribbean & Co. 

Research Committee Vice-Chair:  Gabby Beckford, Gen Z Travel Expert at

Gabby received her Bachelor of Statistics from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2017 and Certificated in Middle Eastern studies and User Design. Her professional experience includes work as a Biomedical Engineer for the U.S. Navy and a Data Quality Engineer for a notable government contractor. She is a long-time NSBE member of 6 years. Most recently, she has conducted and interpreted data from surveys for her own brand Packs Light, focused on Gen Z travel, and results are pending.

Additional Research Committee Members include:

Donna-Kay Delahaye, Travel Blogger, Photographer, Digital Content Creator at

Donna-Kay Delahaye has a Master in Pharmaceutical Science from Kingston University with tens years of experience in quantitative clinical research. She is currently working as a Pharmacovigilance manager in the area of respiratory for both development and compounds.

Patricia King, Blogger at

Patricia King has a graduate degree in journalism and spent years working as a freelance reporter and editor after working as a staff reporter. Retired, she shares her love for travel at Savvy Travelling, writing about multigenerational, solo, best-value, and medical tourism travel.

Martinique Lewis, Diversity in Travel Consultant at

Martinique Lewis is a diversity in travel consultant, content creator, and Influencer Manager. Trusted amongst her peers as a “connector,” she is always connecting the dots to ensure the travel industry is mindful of diversity and not just as a ‘Buzz word.”

Kerwin McKenzie, Author, Content Creator, Speaker at

Kerwin is an ex-airline employee (Delta, ATA, Continental, and United) who is now a travel content creator working with travel brands. He’s flown 180 airlines and visited 125 countries/territories. He consults on frequent traveler loyalty programs and airline travel strategies. 

Stay tuned to the Black Travel Alliance website and social media channels for further updates about the Black Traveler study.  To get in touch with the Black Travel Alliance Research Committee, send an email to


Black Travel Alliance Board Members.

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