Together, we rise


Technological innovations and NABHOOD’s 2022 outlook on Black-owned hotels

Thanks to a cascade of events during the past two years that sparked a global conversation on issues related to race in America, there has been an awakening on behalf of countless industries with regards to the value, perspective, buying power, and needs of the minority consumer. To look within our own industry, more destination-management organizations and tourism boards are increasing their marketing efforts to reach minority consumers. Similarly, the welcomed focus on “Black Lives Matter” has shifted many longstanding goals of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers to the forefront of corporate America’s action plan.

At the core of our mission, NABHOOD seeks to increase minority employment at the executive level and highlight diversity issues affecting the hospitality industry with the goal of positively impacting the economy. Approximately 1,000 of the approximately 59,000 hotels in the U.S. are Black owned, and NABHOOD is working diligently to increase this number. AAHOA represents nearly 34,000 member-owned hotels with more than 1 million employees in the U.S. economy, making the partnership between NABHOOD and AAHOA necessary and exciting as we are pursuing similar goals. When we look at AAHOA and the deals we’ve made together, we realize we can both thrive and truly make a difference.

Andy Ingraham, President, CEO & Founder of National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD) speaking at the 25th Annual International Hotel Ownership & Investment Summit & Trade Show, October 7, 2021 at Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL.

NABHOOD’s 2022 outlook is bright. On the heels of the 25th annual International African-American Hotel Ownership and Investment Summit, held in October 2021 and attended by hundreds of hoteliers and global tourism organizations, the pandemic continues to compel organizations like NABHOOD to focus on technological innovation, succession planning, and generational wealth creation. I’m faithfully committed to educating individuals on how to become hotel owners and investors, and I remain dedicated to forging relationships with major brands, sharing minority investment trends, and exploring supplier opportunities.

As part of these efforts and based on the changing needs of today, NABHOOD continues to take advantage of hybrid programming with a cadre of webinars. And though NABHOOD Summit went virtual in 2020, we found no true substitute for in-person events with an uptick in prospective hotel owners and investors desirous of connecting with major brands in the conference format.

By keeping NABHOOD intimate, we’ve seen monumental opportunities emerge. The pandemic has created an economic crisis that devastated our industry, which is why we continue offerings such as our annual Investment and Hotel Ownership Summit in addition to hosting “The ABCs of Hotel Ownership’’ in major U.S. cities while transitioning the curriculum to online platforms.

raoul thomas

[L-R]: Raoul Thomas (CEO, CGI Merchant Group), Diana Sanchez (wife of Raoul Thomas), Christopher J. Nassetta (President/CEO, Hilton), and Andy Ingraham (President/CEO/Founder, NABHOOD). CGI Merchant Group is in the process of acquiring Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and recently opened The Gabriel South Beach Miami.

The 2022 travel forecast shows that business-travel bookings and meetings remain down, but leisure travel is on the rise. Thus, NABHOOD continues its marketing campaign to patronize Black-owned hotels, an ongoing effort since the 2012 launch of the first, comprehensive online Blackowned hotel directory.We have also upgraded our Career Portal as another important step toward Black hotel ownership for our members. The first of its kind, the portal allows students, recent graduates, and hotel employees to match with jobs in the industry, allowing them to attain positions at various brands and travel organizations, and realize the dream of becoming hotel owners.

These efforts, and many others, all work in tandem to help us achieve our primary goal of increasing the number of African-Americans developing, managing, operating and owning hotels. We hope you’ll join us on this journey, because there is much work to be done and together, we rise.

To keep pace with evolving consumer preferences and habits, we must use technology to remain data driven as intelligence market research allows NABHOOD to identify needs and behaviors of underrepresented communities like the African-American market. That that end, NABHOOD partnered with MMGY to conduct the U.S. Black Traveler Study, which revealed in 2019:

  • 44% of all U.S. travel spend is accounted for by multicultural travelers
  • 275 million overnight trips were taken by Asian Americans
  • 458.2 million overnight trips were taken by LGBTQ+ Americans
  • 444.6 million overnight trips were taken by LatinX Americans
  • 458.2 million overnight trips were taken by African-Americans


The U.S. Black Traveler Study also found that African-Americans spent $129.6 billion on domestic and international leisure travel in 2019, and Black organizations spent an average of $800,000 on meetings, conferences, and conventions pre-pandemic.


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