In 2019, African-Americans are expected to be one of the largest demographics targeted by tourism efforts. According to a new study by Mandala Research during which 1,700 African-American travelers were surveyed, this sector of the population spent about $63 billion on tourism in 2018 — a number which has risen by a staggering $20 billion since 2010. The study is significant because it’s causing destinations to finally realize how important African-Americans are to their tourism numbers.

The survey reports that African-Americans’ top destinations in the US are Florida, New York City/New York, and Atlanta. The Caribbean/Bahamas and Mexico are the leading international destinations.

Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau President William Talbert said, “The African-American traveler is very important to the tourism market in Miami. Arts, culture, and diversity make up the fabric of the community and key findings from this report show obvious alignment with interests of African-Americans to the experiences and multicultural points of interest that Miami offers.”

Some destinations are already refining their 2019 strategies for attracting African-American travelers. Kevin Dallas, CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said, “Given the rapid growth in this market segment, increasing the number of African-American travelers to Bermuda is a strategic goal of our newly released National Tourism Plan.”

According to the study, 25 percent of those polled said they couldn’t afford a vacation, while 15 percent are reluctant to travel due to concerns about racism. Now that destinations are more aware of these pain points, they’re in a better position to address them — lowering prices, offering special deals, and promoting safety — and to encourage more African-American travelers to visit.

H/T: Travel Noire