Zim Ugochukwu, founder of Travel Noire, spoke yesterday at the Skift Global Forum.

When she was a young girl in grade school, Ugochukwu and her mother traveled cross country on a road trip to Rochester, MN to escape an abusive home life. She grew up in the Midwest always feeling different because of her Nigerian-American descent, but over the years she says she eventually developed that into a strength and source of resolve.

While attending University of North Carolina at Greensboro, for example, Ugochukwu interned with Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, which showed her that anything was possible.

Following college, Ugochukwu traveled through Asia and created the Travel Noire media and tour company, because she says mainstream media rarely speaks to her as a woman of color.

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Ugochukwu addressed the topic of “On the Growing Global Community of Black Travelers.”

Here are the things we learned:

  • $48 billion is spent on travel by African Americans in America alone.
  • 17% of African Americans take one or more international trips annually.
  • Only 2.6% of travel ads focus on African Americans.
  • People of color are 38% more likely to make a purchase if advertisements are reflective of them.
  • Ugochukwu launched a series of eight group tours called Travel Noire Experiences, which all sold out within 90 minutes of their announcement.

Keep track of all the activity at this year’s Global Forum by bookmarking our #skiftforum tag.

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And thanks to all the sponsors that made Skift Global Forum 2015 possible: Adobe, Amadeus, American Express, Boxever, Big Bus Tours, CendyneOne, Cheapoair, Criteo, Gogo, HelloGbye, Hornblower Cruises, MasterCard, Mindtree, National Geographic, NewsCred, Sabre, SiteMinder, Travel Channel, TurkeyHome, Uber, Underline, Virtuoso, and Yahoo.

Photo Credit: Zim Ugochukwu, founder of Travel Noire. Skift