A new survey from Mandela Research shows that African American history and culture are strong motivators for travel.
The study was conducted on behalf of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor using the states that make up the corridor: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Findings in the report were based on a national market survey of 1,000 U.S. leisure travelers, focusing on the Gullah Geechee community members and tourism officials.
At least a quarter of all travelers (24%) expressed a strong interest in visiting sites in the South that are of historical significance to African Americans.
The report valued potential leisure-travel spend among the four states analyzed at $34 Billion.
Overall, the relative importance of African American culture in choosing a destination is high, with 36% of all travelers ranking it either “very important” or “somewhat important.”
The report also sheds light on the most desired cultural experiences. “Experiencing local cuisine” was cited by 65% of the travelers surveyed, setting the stage for more investment in educating Americans about traditional Gullah Geechee foodways and creating more cross-cultural culinary experiences around Gullah Geechee restaurants, farms, and chefs.
“I introduced the legislation creating this National Heritage Area to help preserve this important culture and create heritage sites that could become touchstones for attracting tourists,” said House Majority Whip Leader Congressman James Clyburn, representing South Carolina.
Just off the east coast of the island of Madagascar, is where you can find some of Africa’s most pristine beaches and exotic wildlife. Mauritius, an island nation itself, draws in visitors from all over wanting to walk its soft-sand beaches
What if we told you that you could make this exotic island your home office for the next year?
Well, you can! The nation recently announced a new Premium Travel Visa program for non-citizens, looking to change the scenery as we continue to move through this new normal of remote work. The visa is valid for at least 12 months, with an option to extend your stay.
The new Premium Travel Visa for Mauritius is available to all non-citizens and valid for up to one year, though it can be renewed. Travellers interested in an extended stay must arrive to this island nation as a tourist, retiree, or as a professional traveling with their family and intending to work remotely.
Applicants must also show proof of their long-stay plans and have travel and health insurance coverage for the initial part of their stay. As with most programs in the new wave of long-stay visas, visitors in Mauritius are not allowed to enter the country’s workforce and must have a source of income outside of Mauritius. Other supporting evidence that must be supplied include details about the applicant’s purpose of visit and their accommodations, as well as other basic immigration requirements.
Once you arrive, you are required to quarantine for 14-days, as well as present a negative COVID-19 PCR test. Mauritius has been able to keep their cases pretty low throughout the pandemic.
The applications for the visa will be available soon. To learn more and to apply once available, visit; edbmauritius.org.
Since March, we’ve all watched as the coronavirus forced the closures of nearly every border around the globe. Countries around the world are starting to welcome back tourism by reopening their borders to international travelers. After nearly six months of lockdown, South Africa is one of the latest countries on that list.
‘We are ready to open our doors again to the world,” South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement announcing the decision, “and invite travelers to enjoy our mountains, our beaches, our vibrant cities, and our wildlife game parks in safety and confidence.”
High-risk travellers: are those who come from countries with higher numbers of COVID-19 infections and reported deaths compared to South Africa.
Medium risk travellers: are from countries with relatively equal number of infections and death toll to South Africa
Low risk travellers: obviously originate from countries with lesser number of infections of COVID-19 and death toll than South Africa.
Leisure travellers from high-risk countries will not be permitted, amongst them includes the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
“Travellers intending to visit the country will be expected to produce a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test,” said Pandor.
Upon arrival in the port of entry, the traveller will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Travellers will also need to provide proof of accommodation address should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.
Should the traveller display any COVID-19–related symptoms or been in contact with an infected person(s), they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test. This test will be at the traveller’s cost. If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to a 10 day quarantine at a designated site. The accommodation at a quarantine site will be at the traveller’s cost.
However, South Africans are able to travel to any country that currently allows travellers from the country to visit.
Here is the list of high-risk countries:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- North Macedonia
- Puerto Rico
- United Emirates
- United Kingdom
Data for the mentioned countries will be reviewed every two weeks, and categories may change based on the data.
All visas that may have expired during the lockdown period remain valid until January 31, 2021.
Three airports will be opened and operational for international air travel. These airports are OR Tambo International (in Johannesburg, Gauteng), Cape Town International (in Cape Town, Western Cape) and King Shaka International ( in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal).
As air travel continues to slowly pick up amid the ongoing pandemic, many airlines are completely reimagining their route networks. For United Airlines, that means announcing seven new long-haul routes, including three new destinations in Africa. United says it’s adding international flights where there’s existing demand, especially tapping into traffic from travelers from the African diaspora visiting their friends and families
The new routes include:
Newark, New Jersey—Johannesburg: beginning spring 2021
Washington, D.C.—Accra, Ghana: beginning late spring 2021
Washington, D.C.—Lagos, Nigeria: beginning late spring 2021
Tickets will be available for purchase on united.com and the United app in the coming weeks, the airline says.
“Now is the right time to take a bold step in evolving our global network to help our customers reconnect with friends, family, and colleagues around the world,” Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of international network and alliances, said in a statement.
Throughout the crisis, United has been taking an “opportunistic approach” to expanding its network, driven by demand, says Patrick Quayle.
United highlighted that when its new nonstop Accra service launches, the airline will be the only U.S. carrier offering the nonstop flight from Washington, D.C., home to the second-largest population Ghanaians in the United States, according to United.
In addition to Africa, United is adding nonstop flight routes to Israel, India, and Hawaii.
The new routes include:
Chicago—Tel Aviv, Israel: beginning September 2020
Chicago—New Delhi, India: beginning December 2020
San Francisco—Bangalore, India: beginning spring 2021
Chicago—Kona (Big Island), Hawaii: beginning summer 2021
Newark—Kahului (Maui), Hawaii: beginning summer 2021
Last week, the carrier announced that it would end change fees for all domestic flights in premium and regular economy cabins. On Wednesday, it also expanded that policy to flights to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Egypt reopened its famed Giza pyramids to the public after a three-month closure. The reopening marked the restart of a vital tourism industry battered by the COVID-19 pandemic
The pyramids were the country’s first tourist attraction to reopen, along with the Egyptian Museum next to Cairo’s Tahrir Square, ground zero of the 2011 revolution.
Puerto Rico is all set to welcome back tourists from July 15, but with all health and safety measures in place. It is part of the island’s four-phased reopening plan.
The vibrant island has a distinct vibe, which is the result of a mashup of cultures–African, Spanish, French, Dutch and British blood pumps through the veins of the islands’ diverse population.
With this step, Puerto Rico will join the expanding list of Caribbean islands opening up for tourism. However, Puerto Rico never closed its borders to the citizens of the United States, or foreign nationals who hadn’t been to Iran, China, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Brazil, or any of the European Schengen area in the previous 14 days.
During all this time, a 14-day quarantine rule was applied on anyone who was flying into Puerto Rico, along with other stringent lockdown measures, which meant that tourists were discouraged from visiting the island.
Reportedly, Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez recently announced that from now on, travellers who can show negative COVID-19 test results, which were obtained 72 hours prior to arrival, will not be required to undergo quarantine.
Here’s what you should know:
When You Arrive At The Airport
Arriving travelers may be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days no matter whether they have symptoms or not. The National Guard will be assisting with health screenings of all arriving passengers, including rapid COVID-19 tests.
Ridesharing options like Uber have mandated face coverings for both the drivers and the passengers. The front seat will be prohibited.
Certified transportation carriers will properly disinfect vehicles and have hand sanitizer available. In addition, drivers will wear gloves when handling doors and luggage.
Things To Do
Restaurants will open with a maximum occupancy of 25% in their dining rooms. Similar to the airport, temperature checks will be performed before entering. Anyone with a temperature of 100.3 will be denied entry.
Employees will be required to use face coverings, and buffets, salad bars, and self-serve options, as well as reusable menus, are prohibited.
Attractions, with the exception of outdoor recreation spaces, including public beaches, natural reserves, and golf courses are closed.
Shopping malls will enforce social distancing and some stores even require appointments before entering.
If you’re planning to attend a casino, wellness checkpoints will be conducted at entryways, which includes temperature checks and hand sanitizer.
Gaming stations and slot machines will be cleaned every hour of after each guest. Social distancing will be strictly enforced. Face coverings by employees and guests are required.
For more information and to stay up-to-date with the latest in Puerto Rico, click here for its visitor health and safety guidelines.
If you’re making plans to visit Antigua and Barbuda, put COVID-19 test on your to-do-list.
Other Caribbean nations are also considering “virus-free” certificates as health and tourism ministers weigh the return of stranded nationals and tourists.
The Best Travel Podcasts For Anyone Longing To Hit The Road Again. While travel may be on hold now and we don’t know exactly for how long. Satisfy your wanderlust for new places by listening to top rated travel podcasts that transport you through experiential narratives and uplifting travelogues.
We’ve gathered a list of travel podcasts from the perspective of Black travellers and expats
Here are five Black expat podcasts you should be following:
Vivienne Okafor is a travel content creator, content strategist and coach. She is a Nigerian-American, a healthcare consultant and an avid traveler. Vivienne loves to explore a variety of destinations and to share all of her travel tips on her blog. In this interview she shares what it’s like to be a travel blogger, what travel will look like post Covid-19 Pandemic and a lot more.