NORFOLK, Va. — A new survey, sponsored by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, is giving us insight into the value of Black travelers in Virginia and the region.
While the data is from 2019, the numbers will help tourism leaders shape and build upon local attractions to bring more diverse travelers to the area.
“We are going to use those insights to help guide us along the way," said Phyllis Terrell.
Terrell serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
According to the report, Black travelers spent an average of $810.44 per trip to the region.
Of the eight states included in the survey, Virginia was the second most visited state for a leisure trip.
The word “historic” was by far the top word Black travelers associated with Virginia. But the study also found when it comes to attractions, they aren’t looking for a sugar-coated version of the past.
“We know they want to know the full story," said Terrell. "The good, the bad, and the ugly in some instances.”
When it comes to safety, Black travelers perceive Virginia somewhere in the middle, compared to all eight states, with a majority of respondents saying “I don’t feel that I’d be welcomed or wanted” as their top reason for not feeling safe.
“We aren’t perfect, but I think the fact that we’ve done the study and we are aware of what is important to black travelers," said Terrell. "There is no excuse for doing what customers expect."