A new guide listing black-owned travel businesses around the world could prove a handy tool for agents and their clients. Abra Dunsby speaks to its creator, Martinique Lewis
Did you know that Switzerland hosts a Black Film Festival each year in October? Or that clients visiting Tel Aviv can take a black history tour?
A new book, The ABC Travel Greenbook, created by Martinique Lewis, has compiled such experiences around the world, to celebrate black-owned businesses and encourage black clients and their allies to support them on their travels.
Lewis, who is also a diversity in travel consultant and president of the Black Travel Alliance, was inspired to create the book after reading about Victor Hugo Green, author of The Negro Motorist Greenbook.
Hugo Green’s book was published annually from 1936 to 1964 (his year of death) and listed the establishments that black people could visit without fear of discrimination in the segregated US.
“It was the black travel bible of that day – it kept people from losing their lives. Victor Hugo Green was a pioneer in the travel space and the reason black people were even able to travel in the US. I thought, why aren’t we celebrating him?” explains Lewis.
At the same time, Lewis was travelling around the world as a travel influencer and discovering black culture and history in unexpected locations.
“I was travelling and having amazing experiences and discovering people who looked like me in places I never expected. I wanted to make sure that other black people have these experiences when abroad and connect the diaspora globally.”
The ABC Travel Greenbook, which takes Hugo Green’s original concept and extends it to take on an international scope, aims to “highlight Black-owned businesses – not only to keep the black dollar [and pound] circulating but to really celebrate black culture,” Lewis explains.