News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda, May 21, 2019 – Tourism entrepreneur Kristin White is leveraging Bermuda’s National Tourism Plan to launch new group travel experiences to the island that target primarily African American women. Ms White’s venture partners with black female influencers to lead travel experiences to Bermuda, an approach that sparks interest and creates demand from consumers using social media.

The first such trip will take place over Columbus Day weekend of this year, October 10 to 14. Ms White is partnering with Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger Monroe Steele from New York City to lead the travel experience, working alongside fellow Bermudian Christi Tucker of Your Destination Connect on operations. There are 20 spaces available to travellers. The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club is the host hotel. The booking window opened earlier this month.

“Monroe Steele is a trendsetter living in Bermuda’s biggest tourism market, so we’re excited to launch this Bermuda travel experience associated with her vibrant brand and her targeted social media following,” Ms White said. “The timing seems especially good given the goals set out in the National Tourism Plan about increasing African American visitor numbers, the growth of the female travel market and the importance of group travel to Bermuda’s economy outside of the summer.”

Over the past few years, Ms White has connected black women in Bermuda through films, lectures, photo shoots and retreats. In her bookstore, Long Story Short, she features gifts and books by black female artists, writers and entrepreneurs. “As a result,” she says, “many African American women began reaching out to me on social media to ask about Bermuda and my history tours. It felt like the perfect fit, to move into hosting black women for trips out here.”

The National Tourism Plan sets an ambitious goal to double the number of African American leisure air visitors by 2025. In 2017, African Americans represented 4 percent of Bermuda’s leisure air visitors. The goal is to grow it to 8 percent.

Bermuda Tourism Authority Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Victoria Isley said: “The National Tourism Plan shows us that African Americans make up 11 percent of our target consumer set in the cities where we already market heavily. Currently Bermuda is attracting 4 percent, so a clear business opportunity exists. This is a natural and exciting evolution to our efforts – as each of the influencers travelled to Bermuda previously. They’ve now identified Bermuda as a potential business opportunity for their trips, and Kristin and Christi are making it happen. Our team is gratified to see entrepreneurs connecting the dots in the plan in a way that benefits their businesses, while at the same time grows tourism.”

In another case, Travel Curator Chidi Ashley is promoting a Veteran’s Day Weekend trip for 16 women with itinerary-building support from Ms White. Newstead-Belmont Hills Resort is the host hotel.

The Bermuda Tourism Authority has been courting Evita Robinson’s Nomadness Travel Tribe for a couple of years, and with the assistance of Ms White and support from the Authority, Ms Robinson announced a trip to her 22,000 members last week that will be over Bermuda Day in 2020.

Key trends reported in the Bermuda National Tourism Plan:

  • An estimated 32 million single American women travelled at least once in the last year and about 3 in 10 made trips five times or more
  • About 24 percent of American women have taken a girlfriend getaway in the past three years and 39 percent plan on taking a girlfriend getaway in the next three years
  • African American consumers are one of the fastest growing travel segments in size and economic clout, now estimated at $63 billion annually
  • African Americans in the $200k+ household income bracket take 3-plus trips per year

Photos Include Kristin White and Monroe Steele of Fashion Steele NYC at a tourism industry event in New York City. Photo credit: Patrick Butler