This week’s blog topic is all about the available resources that allow us to locate and spend at black owned hotels, motels, B&Bs, lodges,etc. As a blog post request from one of our Instagram followers, I started doing research looking up easy and efficient ways to find black-owned businesses. I originally wanted to do a “Top 3 useful tools for finding black owned accommodations”, but now I want this post to be packed with any available resources that’ll help make it easy to locate black owned business. When researching, I did find a few helpful sites and articles, but it was entirely not enough. Considering black-owned businesses are the minority in this industry, getting the word out to other travelers helps both the business and the traveler looking to support. But in order to do this, we need more resources to spread the word and let travelers know that supporting/booking with black-owned accommodations is an option, especially in light of the present- day obstacles when booking travel as a black man or woman. Whether you’ve had a bad experience when booking travel or not, this particular blog post is here to be an additional resource to assist travelers when they book future travel.
Personally, when booking travel accommodations it’s always about booking the best hotel for the best price, regardless of ownership. But in light of more #AirbnbWhileBlack stories surfacing, it’s clear that discrimination is certainly present in the travel/hospitality community. Although I haven’t personally experienced blatant racism from hosts on Airbnb or Homeaway, I know what it’s like to be concerned about getting denied or ignored because of your skin color, having to make sure your emails are articulate so they don’t judge you based off your speech, or just the overall anxiety of having to be more conscious about your skin color when booking accommodations. So if I can stay in a black-owned hotel, motel, etc, where I don’t have to worry about these anxieties, why would I not? Damon Lawrence, founder of Homage Hotel Group, a black-owned hotel group, stated in an article about opening up a black owned hotel in Oakland “When blacks did not have the option to go elsewhere, it was black hotels and other black businesses that served them. It’s unfortunate that now we have endless opportunities of places to go, but the option of supporting local, black owned businesses is no longer there”. The hardest part is finding them, but this is why I am here to assist.
If you’ve been following the #AirbnbWhileBlack hashtag, then you may be familiar with Noirbnb and Innclusive. They are alternatives to Airbnb & Homeaway, that cater to people of color (POC) specifically. Now, before I continue, I’ll say that there are homeowners of color on Airbnb & Homeaway, but it's never a definite that the property you fall in love with will have a POC homeowner, potentially reducing the chances of discrimination. This is where Noirbnb & Innclusive come in. They provide a “safe space” for people to book travel accommodations, without having to worry about being discriminated against because of their skin color, background, religious beliefs, etc. You can book your travel and support people who look like you and don’t treat you as a inferior. Again, this is not to say that you’ll definitely get unfair treatment with Airbnb & Homeaway, but Noirbnb & Innclusive were formed as a solution to minimize and eliminate this discrimination thats present within Airbnb & Homeaway. They were created in response to discriminatory experiences that people of color are all too familiar with and we finally need a change. Noirbnb prides itself on being a “global travel community that provides experiences and events with a focus on including and celebrating travelers of color”, while Innclusive’s , formerly known as Noirebnb, (It was changed because it was very similar to Noirbnb) response to the issue was to “build a new platform where people of all backgrounds can travel and stay with respect, dignity, and love.” Now these platforms may not have a huge variety in destinations or rental properties like Airbnb & Homeaway will, but we must start somewhere and I think this is a good one. Another website that is very helpful in finding black-owned accommodations is We Travel Black. They also provide the resources to become a host through them. While I haven’t booked through them, it looks like they specialize in rental properties and hotels in the U.S and the caribbean. I’ve attached the links for Noirbnb, Innclusive & We Travel Black below. Take some time to familiarize yourself and explore the websites. You can also follow them on Instagram; @noirbnb, @innclusive, @westayblack/@blackownedtravelaccommodations.
We Travel Black: https://www.blackaccommodations.com/?from=%40
Another resource that I had absolutely no clue about and is just phenomenal, is a website called NABHOOD. If you are familiar with this website, then kudos to you, but if you haven’t just wait to be amazed. NABHOOD is the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers. Noirbnb & Innclusive are for rental properties, whereas NABHOOD helps those who prefer to stay in hotels and such. As a black hotel owner, operator or developer, you can become a member of NAHBOOD and attend their annual summit, which educates you on how to become a hotel owner and how to effectively market to minorities and deal with diversity issues that may come up. According to NABHOOD “membership is open to any individual who has equity interest in a hotel/motel or bed & breakfast,; interest in becoming a hotel owner/investor; hospitality industry employee or vendor.” In addition to all of these resources, NABHOOD provides a list of black-owned hotels and resorts in 35 states and a few international destinations, as well as those under development. You simply click on the location you are traveling to, if it’s available, and you have access to a list of black-owned hotels that you can book with. They also provide necessary resources, such as preferred partnerships, legal advice, the annual summit, etc, for a black hotel owner to thrive in the hospitality industry. Prior to this blog post, I had no idea an organization like this existed and I can only imagine the amount of people who just like me, were unaware of it as well. Another website that provides travelers with a list of black-owned hotels is http://blackownedhotels.weebly.com/, but they got their list from NABHOOD, so it may be the same. But anyway I can disperse this information to my fellow travelers, I’ll do it, because these are invaluable resources that need to be shared. I’ve attached the link for NABHOOD below.
NABHOOD hotel directory: http://www.nabhood.net/home/index.php/hotels/hoteldirectory
When I initially started my research, I assumed I’d find a decent amount of websites devoted to black owned accommodations like the three listed above but what I ended up finding was articles from certain travel companies/blogs listing numerous black owned hotels. For example, Essence and Travel Noire along with a variety of other websites, compiled their own list of black owned accommodations. They was a lot of overlap in the properties listed, but with every list I’d find a new hotel/resort that wasn’t on a previous list, so it was helpful to say the least. I think NABHOOD has done a great job in listing the hotels on their website, so I’m going to do the same and provide a list below of the hotels I was able to put together from my research, as well as sites that can help broaden your search. I’m sure NABHOOD has a pretty comprehensive list, but it doesn’t hurt to add another list of black-owned accommodations to our available resources. Sylvia Daley, owner of Quintessential Bed & Breakfast Inn, created a directory for black owned bed & breakfast Inn called African American Association of Innkeepers International and I’ll include the link below. I wish there was a more comprehensive list for international destinations. From what I’ve seen a lot of the oversea black owned accommodations, were in the Caribbean or Africa, as expected, but it would also be useful if there was a list of black-owned accommodations on a global scale. Knowing that there isn’t a list like this available, I’m going to make a conscious effort to take note of the black owned accommodations located in the destinations I travel to, so we, the travel community, can work to create a more broaden list for travelers. With that being said I’m providing a list of black-owned hotels, inns, b&bs, etc below.
African American Association of Innkeepers International: http://www.africanamericaninns.com/
If you have stayed with any of these hotels, inns or, B&Bs please leave a comment below and tell us about your experience!