Feb 24, 2023
Governor Hochul Announces Plans for I LOVE NY Black Travel Initiative
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced plans for an I LOVE NY Black travel initiative, designed to grow New York State tourism and encourage Black traveler visitation. The Governor made the announcement at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as part of the state's commemoration of Black History Month. The program will build on the success of the state's other tourism programs like
which highlight destinations of interest to and supportive of specific travel communities.
"The new I LOVE NY Black travel initiative will be a celebration of New York's unparalleled Black history, culture, food, and arts," Governor Hochul said.
"From sites and museums that bring Black history to life to world-class arts and cultural institutions like the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York has so much to offer. I look forward to working with our partners to welcome even more visitors to experience Black culture in our state."
Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado said,
"I am proud our state will proactively highlight the incredible diversity we have to offer and encourage travelers from around the world to experience and appreciate New York's Black culture."
I LOVE NY's Black travel initiative will be a comprehensive program that promotes New York State as a great vacation destination for Black travelers. It will have a dedicated presence on the I LOVE NY website, and a promotional campaign based on market research and stakeholder outreach that highlights existing assets and supports new programming to provide a direct invitation welcoming Black visitors and their families to experience New York's unparalleled Black history, culture, food, arts and events.
The Division of Tourism will utilize existing relationships with international travel trade operators to encourage the creation of Black travel itineraries and engage travel journalists and content creators to share all that awaits Black travelers and their friends and families across New York State. I LOVE NY will also collaborate with other State agency partners and local tourism promotion agencies to amplify their Black travel messaging.
The annual economic impact of tourism and travel in New York State as of 2021 is $85.5 billion, and it generates enough in state and local taxes to save every household in the state more than $1,000 annually. The tourism and hospitality sector is the state's third largest industry, supporting one in 10 private sector jobs. Black travelers represent more than 13 percent of the domestic leisure travel market, spending over $109 billion annually.
New York is home to dozens of Underground Railroad sites and one of the largest Juneteenth festivals in the nation. The state has deep ties to leaders like Fredrick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, and is where hip hop was born. Museums and venues celebrating Black culture, art and heritage can be found throughout the state - from the Jackie Robinson Museum in Lower Manhattan, to the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, to the Colored Musicians Club in Buffalo.
In a survey of Black travelers, 64 percent reported that the availability of Black culture and heritage attractions is important when making a destination choice. Another survey of Black travelers reported that diversity in marketing is a top factor when choosing a travel destination, with 54 percent of U.S. Black travelers more likely to visit a destination with Black representation in advertising. I LOVE NY already includes diverse imagery in its marketing and promotes themes, attractions and events of interest to a wide variety of communities.