Travel Company Addresses Bias In The Tourism Industry

Black & Abroad is seeking to strip the "perceived power" from those who use the phrase "Go back to Africa" with derogatory intent to positioning the statement as a welcome greeting.

The multiplatform travel and lifestyle company aimed at black travelers is partnering with FCB/SIX and IPG’s Initiative Media to provide a counterpoint to the travel industry’s bias, as evidenced by its use of mostly white traveler imagery.

“Do a quick Google image or stock image search of the word ‘travel’ and you’ll immediately see how biased the industry is toward Caucasians,” says Ian Mackenzie, executive director of FCB/SIX. “ is a place where African-American travelers can see themselves represented with positive images set in each one of Africa’s 54 countries.”



FCB/SIX is behind the technology for this campaign and selected Google Vision to help fuel an AI-powered engine that searches for images of user-generated content across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

The platform then uses Google Vision’s image recognition technology to filter through content by location, subject, quality and relevance -- all in real time. Once curated and customized into campaign materials, the content is pushed through Black & Abroad’s social channels and website.

The campaign is also supported with a series of paid ads on Twitter, YouTube and digital OOH that blacks out the Go Back to Africa negative Twitter posts and reframes them into positive tourism messages.

An online video builds on the concept that traveling to Africa is a good idea by showing images of destinations and activities.

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