Summertime is family reunion season for many African-Americans across the country. Hilton’s Embassy Suites Hotels and Homewood Suites are hoping to tap into this massive tradition with programs designed to attract Black travelers.
In a press release, Hilton cites an article published in Black Meetings & Tourism that says 90 percent of family reunions are hosted by African Americans. Between 100 and 400 people typically attend these events.
In a separate email, the hotel company cites its own Hilton Midscale Millennial Research from 2014, which found that Black millennials are more likely to travel with extended family and to see extended family. These reunions can include anything from a BBQ to a banquet to sightseeing.
With all of that in mind, the company has set up a new hub, HiltonFamilyReunions.com, designed to help with the planning of these events. And, of course, to drive traffic to Hilton’s hotels. The hub includes pointers for on-site planning, personalized pages where family members can coordinate their reunions, and more.
And to further reach Black travelers, the company has entered into a few partnerships. One is with the aforementioned Black Meetings & Tourism publication, which will be a resource for travel tips and information.
Another is with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, a nonprofit that promotes leadership and equality for Black women and girls across chapters nationwide. The relationship is part of Hilton’s community relations effort. “The Futures Company Multicultural Monitor found 79 percent of African American consumers agree companies that make efforts to be part of their community deserve loyalty,” a Hilton spokesperson told us in an email.
Finally, the company has partnered with The Tom Joyner Show‘s Meet Ev’ry Listener Tour, which will travel to 45 cities. Hilton will provide accommodations to staff and host meet-and-greet events during the tour.
The part that catches our eye most about all of this is the family reunion angle of this effort. There’s really an untapped opportunity there that Hilton is wise to jump on. For many Black families, this is a cherished opportunity to gather, catch up and have a good time with those who travel from far and wide to take part. That more hotel companies–particularly those with major locations in cities that have a large Black population–haven’t designed an initiative for these events is a missed opportunity.
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