Culturist Helps a Luxury Destination Build Trust, Deepen Connections With Black Travelers.
Updated: Jul 25, 2022
With spending power in the billions and leisure travel as a means of empowerment, Black travelers of every generation continue to trust in sources familiar to them to inform decisions on the destinations and experiences that resonate with their diverse interests. This is why The Culturist Group worked with Los Cabos Tourism Board in Los Angeles to help activate an important collaboration and collaboration aimed at deepening relationships with Black travel influencers and decision-makers.
Los Cabos, Baja California is a luxury destination on the Pacific Coast.
According to the Black Travel Alliance, in their study carried out in partnership with MMGY Travel Intelligence, Black travelers spent $129.6 billion on domestic and international travel in 2019, with nearly 50% citing their awareness of internet-based Black travel groups including Black Travel Alliance, Nomadness Tribe and Black Girls Travel Too, to name a few. Trusted sources are important to a traveling community who have reported feeling unsafe or unsure about the places they choose to visit. In that same study, 69% of Black travelers agreed when asked if they have to be “more aware of their surroundings when traveling.” When observing other segments of the travel industry, the same is true. Members of the National Association of Black Meeting Professionals cited word of mouth as the number one source of information when looking for destinations and venues where their meeting-goers will feel safe and welcomed. Seventy-eight percent of respondents listed ‘word of mouth’ as the single most important source of information, compared to the 77% who cited destination marketing organizations as an important source
Realizing the opportunity to build trust and to welcome and attract more Black leisure travelers to Los Cabos, a destination known for its seaside desert climate, stellar luxury resorts, and its distinct brand of elevated hospitality, Los Cabos Tourism Board in Los Angeles retained The Culturist Group to help it achieve three things:
Help build trust and deepen relationships with Black travel influencers and advisors in Los Angeles, the number one feeder market for the destination;
Provide the narrative and place to broker education around the inclusive nature of the destination and support the goals of Black travel organizations including its partnership with the Association of Black Travel Professionals (ABTP), and;
Effectively and proactively position Los Cabos as top-of-mind for the leisure destination to increase share of voice and share of market to a country in travel recovery who has seen the interest rise among Black travelers in competing destinations such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Puerto Vallarta during the pandemic.
"With a background in multicultural travel and market research for travel brands and travel trends, Danny helped develop and curate the list of attendees through grass-roots efforts, cultivated relationships with key Black travel advisors, meetings managers, and influencers, and focused on the strategy of our inclusivity goal as a leading tourism board."
Unlike general market initiatives of this nature, professional databases and rosters of Black and Black-owned travel advisors, Black-owned agencies and other travel influencers do not yet exist. The Culturist Group worked on a grassroots level attraction campaign with national Black travel organizations and Black travel leadership to research and develop a custom target list of tastemakers and influencers, a first of its kind initiative for Los Cabos Tourism Board. Additional support included media relations, content development and market insights to build the program.
The Culturist Group worked closely with Susie Albin-Najera, North America Leisure Travel Manager of the Los Angeles office for the Los Cabos Tourism Board and Veranda Adkins, Co-Founder and President of the ABTP to identify, cultivate and outreach to Black luxury travel advisors, travel influencers and Black-owned media in Southern California in cooperation with the ABTP to welcome guests to an evening of education, celebration and empowerment.
Media coverage inviting Black travel professionals appeared in Black Tourism & Meetings Newsletter, with prominent editors Solomon and Gloria Herbert joining a total of 25 Black travel professionals in March 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. Guests heard from Los Cabos Tourism Board and ABTP for a Cabo-inspired dinner, cocktails, and education from both the organizations. ABTP addressed the importance of its partnership with the Los Cabos Tourism Board and invited all of the professionals in attendance to join its organization, citing the importance of community and shared resources within an under-resourced Black travel industry community, and the importance of partnership with destinations and travel brands who are actively creating opportunities to welcome Black travelers such as Los Cabos.
Following this event activation campaign, Los Cabos Tourism is in discussions to welcome board members of the Black Travel Alliance later in 2022, preparing a familiarization trip for Black travel professionals to visit the destination and is already working with two influencers from the event to welcome them to Los Cabos.
“Danny Guerrero and his newly launched company, The Culturist Group, were a natural fit for this event. With a background in multicultural travel and market r
esearch for travel brands and travel trends, Danny helped develop and curate the list of attendees through grass-roots efforts, cultivated relationships with key Black travel advisors, meetings managers, and influencers, and focused on the strategy of our inclusivity goal as a leading tourism board. Danny was an instrumental partner, and the event was a true success.” – Susie Albin-Najera, Los Cabos Tourism Board, Los Angeles