Destination Cleveland #PullUpForTravel Black Travel Alliance Scorecard
Destination Cleveland applauds and joins the Black Travel Alliance in its effort to benchmark and meaningfully improve the representation, engagement and involvement of Black Americans in the travel industry. As the destination marketing and management organization for Cuyahoga County, it is our duty to promote the Cleveland area we love and work with our community, honestly and authentically, to make it an inclusive and inviting place for all residents and visitors. We are committed to taking tangible actions to improve representation of Black Americans in our organization and our work and to help achieve racial equality through the dismantling of structural racism.
To establish actionable and measurable goals, we must closely examine our practices and metrics. The request by the Black Travel Alliance focused our initial efforts to determine where Cleveland, as a destination brand, stands and how we currently represent the 30%* of Cuyahoga County’s population and 50%* of the City of Cleveland’s population who are African American. Understanding these benchmarks will help us to identify our path to improvement.
As part of our commitment to be better, we’ve established a Task Force on Racial Equity made up of 12 Board members and 4 staff members, who are representative of our community’s racial demographics. The group’s primary focus is to define the measurable actions Destination Cleveland will undertake to address endemic racism and racial equality in our industry and community. Once determined, we will announce the actions and provide ongoing progress updates.
We thank the Black Travel Alliance for its work toward meaningful representation of Black voices in the travel industry. We, at Destination Cleveland, are committed to working with you. From this day forward, let our actions speak louder than our words.
*U.S. Census Bureau (July 1, 2019)
Current number and percentage of Black people in management and on staff.
- 10% Black team members (6 of 60)
- 17% Black team members in director and above positions (2 of 12)
- 14% of our Board of Directors is Black (5 of 36)
Note: Employee demographics are based on self-identification by team members.
Conferences & Tradeshows
Black representation (number and percentage) on speaker panels, workshops, sessions, etc. in 2019
Destination Cleveland's focus does not include the organization or programming for conferences or tradeshows. In our convention sales role, we seek to host diverse meetings in the city and are currently working with the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), which was scheduled to meet in Cleveland in 2020 but rescheduled to 2023 due to COVID-19 and future meetings for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA). We recently added a staff member to our sales team who will focus on attracting meetings of African-American organizations and associations.
Paid Advertising/Marketing Campaigns
Black representation (number and percentage) in TV, radio, print and digital channels including social media in 2019
Totals represent campaigns across our three key vertical markets: leisure travel, meetings and conventions and group tour.
- 72% of advertising assets that featured images with people include Black people (64 of 89)
- Instagram: 46% of posts that have images with people include Black people (16 0f 35)
- Facebook: 65% of posted images with people include Black people (13 of 20)
- YouTube: 80% of videos with people feature Black people (28 of 35)
Owned content includes our 2019 Official Visitor Guides and 2019 blog posts.
- 87% of content pieces that have images with people include Black people (101 of 122)
- 28% of content pieces feature Black-owned businesses, Black history and/or cultural attractions and events that highlight the Black community (34 of 122)
- 2% of paid partner listings in our 2019 Official Visitor Guides are for black-owned businesses, attractions that prominently tell the story of Cleveland’s Black history or organizations that provide services to Cleveland’s black community (15 of 713)
Black representation (number and percentage) on media/press trips in 2019
- In 2019, 9% of hosted writers who we invited to Cleveland were Black (2 of 22)
- 14% of hosted influencers in 2019 were Black (2 of 14)
Charitable contributions and support (i.e. mentorship and intern programs, etc.) to Black charities and community groups
As a 501(c)6 organization, we do not have a charitable giving program. We do provide support for community organizations, including:
Cleveland Rising: Since summer 2018, Destination Cleveland has administered and marketed the Cleveland Rising Summit and its resulting work. This effort seeks to engage a diverse group of Clevelanders to set priorities and measurable goals for Greater Cleveland’s economic future, with a focus on inclusion and equity.
Cleveland Leadership Center’s Accelerate Competition: Destination Cleveland sponsored a new category for this business pitch competition, which provides seed money to help individuals launch their idea to make the region a better place. This year’s winner in the Authentic Cleveland Experiences category was Shana Black, who runs “A Soulful Tour of Cleveland,” which visits Black-owned businesses and urban spaces that are often overlooked and provides information on resources, events and additional locations that showcase Black culture.