Buffalo Earns National African American Travel Distinction
The Queen City has recently earned a national distinction that will help increase the number of African American travelers to Buffalo.
Buffalo has been designated an authentic African American Heritage Tourism Destination in the United States by the Travel Professionals of Color (TPOC). Buffalo joins Detroit as the only cities certified as authentic locations by the minority travel organization.
The CVB hosted a TPOC familiarization tour of Buffalo this past summer. Led by the CVB’s, multicultural sales manager, Dionne Williamson, the group visited Buffalo’s African American attractions, dining and shopping destinations. TPOC inspected the city to determine if it provides an authentic experience for African American travelers.
While in Buffalo, the group visited numerous African American destinations, including visits to attractions such as the Nash House, Michigan Street Baptist Church, and the Colored Musicians Club. The group also dined at One Sunset and had a catered lunch by Donnie’s Smokehouse. They also visited significant sites, such as Broderick Park and places not yet recognized on official registers.
“African American groups and individuals are increasingly searching for real experiences pertaining to their cultural heritage,” said Williamson. “TPOC’s designation not only validates the work and investment our community has put into our local African American attractions, buts also sends a signal across the country that Buffalo is a welcoming destination for African American travelers.”
TPOC commended Buffalo for having exciting tour plans that cover African American and Civil Rights history, interesting festivals and events, and authentic ethnic cuisine.
Since 2004 there has been a 280 percent increase in African American bookings by the CVB, accounting for over 10,000 hotel room nights annually.
TPOC promotes training, networking and support of minority travel professionals. Along with the African American Heritage Destination Program, TPOC has 150 travel professionals in its heritage travel planner certification program. Buffalo will host the Travel Professionals of Color annual conference and trade show at the Adam’s Mark hotel in 2009. Over 350 African-American and minority travel professionals are expected to attend the four-day educational event.