New York Is Making It Easier for Black Travelers to Experience the State's 'Unparalleled' Black History and Culture

Planning a trip centered around Black experiences is going to get a lot easier in the Empire State.

A group of three walking along a boardwalk on a New York state beach

Alex Potemkin/Getty Images

New York is making sure Black travelers have the Empire State on their list of must-visit destinations. Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced a new initiative to spotlight why New York is a great vacation spot for Black travelers. It celebrates the state’s “unparalleled Black history, culture, food, and arts," Hochul said in a recent statement.

Even though Black travelers spend roughly $109 billion annually on domestic leisure travel, making up more than 13 percent of the U.S. travel market, they’re often underrepresented in destination messaging and initiatives.

New York has many ties to Black heritage: Hip-hop was born in the Bronx; it has dozens of preserved Underground Railroad sites once used by enslaved people; and there are museums celebrating Black accomplishments, like Manhattan’s Jackie Robinson Museum and Buffalo’s Colored Musicians Club & Jazz Museum. It is also home to one of the nation’s largest Black diasporas, including people from the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, South America, and the U.S.

 A visitor look at a display inside the new Jackie Robinson Museum, New York Citys first museum dedicated largely to the civil rights movement and the legacies of Jackie Robinson and his widow, Rachel.

Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News via Getty Images

Photo of white house with wrap around porch at Harriet Tubman National Historic Park

Courtesy of I Love NY

So it comes as little surprise that the state has a variety of experiences for travelers looking to honor Black history, celebrate Black culture, and support Black-owned businesses. Part of New York’s new program plans to dedicate a section of its tourism website to itineraries, blogs, guides, and resources centered around Black experiences to help travelers plan their getaway.

"From sites and museums that bring Black history to life to world-class arts and cultural institutions like the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York has so much to offer,” Hochul said in a release provided to Travel + Leisure. “I look forward to working with our partners to welcome even more visitors to experience Black culture in our state."

"I am proud our state will proactively highlight the incredible diversity we have to offer and encourage travelers from around the world to experience and appreciate New York's Black culture,” added Antonio Delgado, New York state’s lieutenant governor, in the same release.

This isn't the first initiative New York State has launched in attempts to appeal to travelers as an inclusive destination; past programs include “I Love NY LGBTQ” and “Accessible NY.” The former offers resources like a list of historic sites that celebrate LGBTQ+ history, a calendar of Pride events, and even a roundup of LGBTQ+ community centers across the state. The latter has valuable information like wheelchair-accessible attractions and curated itineraries for travelers with accessibility needs.

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