Inherently counter-intuitive to the open-mindedness associated with travel, many have been a little surprised when the curtain has been pulled to the side to reveal that the travel industry has a good amount of work to dow hen it comes to systemic racism. In today’s interview, Brittany Noelle, the founder of Black Women Travels, shared some of her experiences in travel as a young black woman and what she is doing to help encourage more options for black female travelers.
Brittany has a background in fitness and even has her own personal training company and online fitness training program. She has had a long love for travel and traveled quite a bit with her family as she was growing up. She has since combined her passion for fitness as well as travel but creating many unique workout programs for travelers on the go.
She also founded Black Women Travels. A site geared to women of color, curating activities, restaurants, tips and tricks, and experiences to women of color who love to travel. On a birthday trip in 2019, she was traveling with a few girlfriends (all different races) on a trip to London. She soon realized that many of the girls had different interests on their trip—be it restaurants, clubs, and things to do. Information and insights on what she, as a black woman, would want to do or experience, were not so easily found. Hence, the start of Black Women Travels.
This trip made her look back on her travels and really realize that there is racism in travel. From marketing strategies to hiring to how people of color are treated when they travel.
Of course, this year in June, with the huge resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, she also began looking to travel brands to really step up to the plate. Interestingly enough, many travel related companies feel short. They may have made statements, but didn’t share it consistently on social media. Or were just surprisingly quiet in the middle of a time when every company was coming forth with statements, new initiatives, and goals for the future.
This conversation didn’t end in June. The conversation about how the travel industry is being more inclusive and support of people of color is a conversation that needs to continue. And she, like others, are looking to make sure that happens.
Of course, the travel industry is moving at a slow pace these days dealing with the extreme challenges of the pandemic. Though this is no excuse for the work that the industry still needs to do and the changes it needs to address.