Did you know? During this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, there were several innovative inaugural events specifically celebrating Hispanics-Latinos in travel, tourism, and aviation in the United States? Several of those events included The Latinx Travel Summit and the Latinas in Aviation Global Festival.
There is much to learn about the views, contributions, spending power, and the importance of travel in the Hispanic-Latino community. Last month, MMGY Travel Intelligence released a study called Vistas Latinas: A Landmark Study on U.S. Travelers of Hispanic Descent.
According to the Vistas Latinas study, Hispanic travelers in the U.S. surveyed are looking forward to traveling domestically and internationally in the future.
- In the next two years, 90% of Hispanic travelers have domestic travel plans.
- In the next two years, 64% of Hispanic travelers have international travel plans.
To further discover the who, what, when, where, and why of the study. I spoke with Danny Guerrero, the Vice President of North America Strategy and GM, Los Angeles for MMGY Global.
Guerrero shared why studies like Vistas Latinas are essential. “I think the important thing was starting to realize that because of the change in nature of the country, the demographics, the shift, and the growth of multicultural audiences,” said Guerrero. “The travel industry is a little bit far behind other industries, other segments, in terms of acknowledging the needs of underrepresented travelers.”
Vistas Latinas is the second study by MMGY Global Travel Intelligence for underrepresented travelers, following MMGY Global’s previous investigation, The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities. However, Guerrero notes that a critical difference in this study is that Latinas Vistas was the first one deployed in two languages.
“There are so many things in this study (Vistas Latinas) that are industry-specific, but our goal and hope is, that when word gets out, that over many years this will empower Latinos who are not traveling – to realize that there is a whole world out there – that is open and available to them,” says Guerrero. “That hopefully, these travel brands, airlines, and hotels start to realize that Latinos want to explore more of themselves, more with their family, and more with their culture. That will lead to a more inclusive and equitable industry.”
In addition, MMGY partnered for the first time with the non-profit organization Travel Unity. As a result, the non-profit organization will receive all of the net proceeds of the reports available for purchase.
Just ahead of Travel Unity’s annual summit in New York, DEI in Action Advancing Travel Together, I spoke with Roni Weiss, the Executive Director of the non-profit organization. As a Board of Directors at Travel Unity and a member of the Steering Committee, I asked Weiss to share more about the non-profit, this study, and the next steps he foresees.
“Travel Unity is a 501(c)(3) non-profit; since 2016, our goal is increasing diversity in the world of travel through individual and community empowerment,” he said. “Two main parts of our work are how do we get individuals to see travel as a part of their lives professionally and personally. And we work the industry overall, travel organizations to align with best practices around diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Weiss believes the study is just the beginning of learning more about Hispanic travelers, who he says are a significant portion of the U.S. population. “Overall, people have their ideas and guesses, but having the actual data is very important when it comes to the industry spending money on making sure that travel is welcoming to the Hispanic-Latino communities,” says Weiss.
What are the next steps? Weiss shares one of the ways Travel Unity plans to do with the funding is to provide Hispanic youth with local and regional travel scholarships around the US.
For more information, you can visit the MMGY Global website or the Travel Unity website. The Vistas Latinas Report is available for purchase at https://mmgy.myshopify.com/products/vistas-latinas-report-package.
Jeannette Ceja is an award-winning bilingual travel journalist, television host, travel advisor, and global public speaker.
A seasoned journalist, Jeannette is known for her expertise in women’s travel and the Latinx demographic. Her work encompasses luxury travel, female travel, and diversity travel.
Learn more about Jeannette’s work by visiting Jet Set with Jeannette.