Did you go to a family reunion this summer? Or have one planned for the new year? You are not alone. According to a recent poll by Black Meetings & Tourism, 90 percent of family reunions are hosted by African Americans. Between 100 and 400 people typically attend these events.
Hilton Worldwide, earlier this year, recognized the power of African-American family reunions and partnered with Black Meetings & Tourism publication, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, as well as with The Tom Joyner Show‘s Meet Ev’ry Listener Tour, which will travel to 45 cities. Hilton Worldwide is providing accommodations to staff and host meet-and-greet events during the tour. Further, Hilton Worldwide set up a new hub, HiltonFamilyReunions.com, designed to help with the planning of these events. The hub includes pointers for on-site planning, personalized pages where family members can coordinate their reunions and more.
Through this, Hilton Worldwide’s Embassy Suites Hotels and Homewood Suites are hoping to tap into this massive tradition with programs designed to attract Black travelers.
TNJ.com interviewed Andréa Richardson, Director, Resorts & Multicultural Marketing Global Marketing, about Hilton Worldwide’s family reunion program plans.
TNJ.com: Why did Hilton Worldwide launch HiltonFamilyReunions.com?
Andréa Richardson: Planning and organizing a successful family reunion is no easy task, and preparation can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year. That is why earlier this year, Embassy Suites by Hilton Worldwide and Homewood Suites by Hilton Worldwide launched HiltonFamilyReunions.com, designed to provide tools and resources to help make it easier for families to connect and celebrate.
Through the site, family reunion organizers can take advantage of special offers, get the information they need to connect with on-site meeting planners, create a personalized web page to communicate specific details and schedules to family members, book or upgrade rooms using points from Hilton Honors guest loyalty program, and help all attendees seamlessly manage room bookings and special requests.
TNJ.com: Are you specifically targeting African American travelers?
AR: Group travel with a leisure focus, such as family reunions, youth sports groups and social organizations, are an important segment for our brands, especially for Embassy Suites by Hilton Worldwide and Homewood Suites by Hilton Worldwide. And multiple reports suggest that the majority of family reunions in the U.S. are held by African Americans.
The planning website, combined with the amenities offered at these two brands, including two-room suites, free full breakfast every morning, and reception with snacks every evening, makes for a perfect package for family reunion planners to feel confident in their bookings and be able to focus on reconnecting with relatives.
Helping to make family reunions great is just one of several diversity-focused efforts from Hilton Worldwide.
TNJ.com: What makes this program so unique?
AR: This program is designed to help reunion organizers tackle some of the most difficult, time-consuming aspects of planning and executing a family reunion, such as budgeting, on-site event coordination, and securing accommodations.
The largest expenditure for most families is usually travel. With family members traveling from many different locations, it is important to remain cost-conscious as budgets vary between households and the goal is for all relatives to experience and enjoy the festivities.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Worldwide and Homewood Suites by Hilton Worldwide are ideal for family reunion travel because they offer on-site, value-driven amenities to help all travelers maximize their travel budget. Both Hilton Worldwide brands offer spacious suites where multiple family members can feel comfortable, and all of them provide complimentary hot breakfast and Internet, and free evening receptions with beverages and snacks most evenings.