Hurtigruten Group Announces Black Travelers Advisory Board
The Hurtigruten Group has launched the Black Traveler Advisory Board (BTAB), a newly appointed group of travel professionals whose goal is to increase the visibility and inclusiveness of the black traveler in the expedition cruise industry, according to A press release.
The official announcement comes from Antarctica, where the group is currently sailing aboard the Roald Amundsen.
The BTAB participates in one of the cruise line’s signature Antarctica itineraries with the aim of becoming familiar with a basic expedition cruise product.
BTAB is one of Hurtigruten Group’s many Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, which include improving the visibility of Black travelers and travel professionals within the cruise industry, the company said.
According to a press release, the BTAB was created to provide the company with the information and tools necessary to better reach, interact with and position its products with the black traveler. The creation and continued work of the Board of Directors will inform how the Hurtigruten Group approaches future initiatives and is designed to reach even more consumer groups and communities that have traditionally been excluded from strategic marketing campaigns.
The BTAB was created and is led by Anders Lindström, Hurtigruten Group Public Relations and Communications Manager for the Americas. He is also a member of the inaugural Black Travel Alliance Advisory Board for 2022.
“The Black Traveler Advisory Council will not only help advance Hurtigruten Expeditions’ inclusion goals, but ultimately help drive change across the cruise industry as a whole. We are honored to have these incredible leaders in their fields working with us to increase visibility, identify opportunities within the black travel movement, and help achieve some of our concrete goals, including identifying black scientists as potential speakers aboard our ships. , attracting more expedition leaders of color, learning more about unsung black explorers who can be incorporated into the company’s expedition cruise itineraries, enhancing both our written and visual communications and marketing materials, and amplifying career opportunities through their networks,” Lindström said.
“At Hurtigruten Group, we want to appeal to a more diverse customer base by reaching those who may not have previously considered our products as a vacation option. We invite all explorers to share our love of adventure, nature and the planet. the more diverse we are as a company, the better the guest experience will be and the better our workforce will be as well. So I wish the Black Traveler Advisory Board a safe and memorable journey as they are enjoying their first trip to Antarctica with Hurtigruten Expeditions,” added Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten Group.
The six members of the advisory board include entrepreneurs, travel consultants, heads of tourism organizations and genuine community influencers, all drawn from the latest industry trends and the subsequent needs of the black traveler.
Stephanie M. Jones, MBA, President of the BTAB. Jones is the founder and CEO of the Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance, Inc. (CHEA), founder of Black Cultural Heritage Tours and the National Blacks in Travel & Tourism Collaborative. Jones serves on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Advisory Council, Northstar Travel Group’s Black Travel Advisory Council, Newsweek’s Future of Travel Awards Advisory Board, and the Advisory Board of the Future of Tourism Coalition.
Karim George, Founder and Director of Culture Traveler, LLC, a luxury travel agency focused on unique experiences centered on arts, culture and cuisine. National Director At-Large, American Society of Travel Advisors, he also serves on the Travel + Leisure Travel Advisory Board, the Signature Travel Network Luxury Committee and the Travel Market Report Editorial Advisory Board.
Naledi Khabo, CEO, African Tourism Association. Co-founder of Travel is Better in Color, a platform celebrating diverse stories and storytellers from the travel industry. Co-founder of the Collective, a global group of black travel writers and journalists, publicists, magazine owners, television personalities and an industry leader.
MartiniqueLouis, Co-founder and President of the Black Travel Alliance. Creator of the ABC Travel Greenbook and the Diversity in Travel Scorecard. Recently named one of the “Most Influential People in Travel” by Travel + Leisure and Travelpulse. Lewis is a member of the Condé Nast Traveler Advisory Board and is also the Head of Influencers for NYC&Company.
Mapp Street, Founder and CEO of the national non-profit organization Outdoor Afro. In 2019, Mapp was named a National Geographic Fellow and in 2021, AFAR Travel Vanguard Honoree. She sits on the boards of both the Wilderness Society and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and serves as chair of the California State Park and Recreation Commission by appointment of the Governor.
Patricia Yabrough, President of Blue World Travel, which she opened in 1978. In 1992, Yarbrough created the award-winning Festival at Sea travel program tailored to African American cruise passengers. In 1998, she launched Friends of Festival at Sea, created for African Americans who wanted to broaden their horizons and explore the world. Due to scheduling conflicts, Yarbrough was unable to participate in the Antarctic launch cruise and Blue World Travel was represented by its Marketing Director, Anthony Gould.