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Tourism Trends

Traveling Latin and African-American minority markets to grow in number and spending

Hazel Heyer, eTN Staff Writer  Sep 26, 2008

Today’s minority market, accounting for $90 billion a year on travel receipts, is getting close to becoming the majority travel market.

Despite this fact, very little is being spent towards advertising to this market segment in the US, and overseas including the Caribbean and African markets, because of the perception that “they don’t spend.”

In recent times, multi-cultural, special, heritage, niche, minority markets, the Latin and African-American markets, including the gay and lesbian markets have proven this trend otherwise. Within the US, the Hispanic population reaching 45 million today, comprising 15 percent of the total US population, is the fastest growing minority market. This minority group – composed of Mexicans (58.5 percent), Puerto Ricans (9.6 percent), Cuban-Americans (4.8 percent), South Americans (3.8 percent), Dominican Republic (2.2 percent), Spanish (0.3 percent), and others (17.3 percent) – spends almost $798 billion annually. It is anticipated that their spending power will top $1.1 Trillion by 2011.

Charlotte Haymore, president of TPOC National Association in Denver, said the Hispanic market spends over $32 billion annually on travel. They take 77 million person trips annually, with 77 percent of the person trips are spent on leisure travel. They spend about $1000 per person excluding transportation. “The Hispanic travel market grew at an average rate of approximately 10-20 percent last year. Take note, 33 percent of trips taken by them include whole households with children under the age of 18,” she said.

In tandem, the African-American market is seen to grow at the same pace, more or less. Today’s 40.7 million African-American population accounts for 13.4 percent of the total US population. It is the second fastest growing minority group, with a spending power of $798 billion annually, projected to grow to $1.1 Trillion by 2011.

“Their travel expenditure is approximately $30 billion annually, accounted for by 75 million person trips yearly, with 44 percent of person trips for leisure, 10 percent spending money on group travel, each spending about $1000 per person on travel excluding transportation,” said Haymore.

The minority markets put heads in beds for hotels, fill seats in planes, buy cabins on cruises, and generate revenues for many rental companies and tour packages.

“It is important to understand where and why particular groups travel,” added Haymore saying travel agents would like to know that the African-Americans love to go on group travel and prefer Atlanta, Las Vegas, DC and Jamaica; while the Latin markets prefer Mexico, Las Vegas, LA, Orlando (Disney), or any destination that has entertainment galore. The Hispanic market enjoys family travel with their kids. Haymore said not to forget those pointers.

Gain an understanding of the value and growth of the minority market, and recognize your achievements in cash, according to the TPOC chairman.

Traveling Latin and African-American minority markets to grow in number and spending

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