Websites deliver African American professionals to the Caribbean

( – “The Caribbean Escape – Summit at The Westin St. John (US Virgin Islands, August 16-21, 2005)” is a new Caribbean vacation catering to Black professionals.

African American websites in Atlanta, Los Angeles, the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area and Washington DC are using the power of the Internet to market this new vacation experience, which offers adventure, beach fun, R&R, and networking. “Incredibly, this is the only nationally marketed Caribbean resort vacation that caters to African American professionals, particularly those 35 years and older,” says Paul Mixon, tour operator. (For Caribbean Escape trip information, visit

The Internet marketing engine behind Caribbean Escape includes (Los Angeles), (Washington D.C.), (National), the (Atlanta) and (San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area). Reaching over 250,000 subscribers weekly, the group’s involvement in this first time effort stems from their desire to fill a growing void and demand in vacation offerings to older Black professionals.

According to a Digitial Marketing Services survey, a majority of African Americans read online ads, and 46% find them informative compared to 26% of the general population. Online marketing appears to be an effective way to reach this market.

Mixon understands the power of the internet, which is why he presented the concept to Michael DeFlorimonte, CEO of, a San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area lifestyle and entertainment website for urban professionals. After realizing the uniqueness of the trip, DeFlorimonte immediately reached out to selected African American websites in other major cities. “The networking component, specifically the opportunity to meet like-minded mature (35 and older) Black professionals from other cities in an upscale vacation environment is a strong attraction.”

Mixon is already known for its successsful Black Boater’s Summit (British Virgin Islands), a 7 day yachting adventure for African Americans, now in its eighth year. Market indicators point toward the success of Caribbean Escape.

The underserved African American travel and tourism market now approaches $40 billion annually; travel, online, and population growth rates among Blacks regularly exceed those of the general market; and over 9.3 million African Americans live in households of $60,000 or more. Given these trends, Mixon’s group of savvy online marketers may be well on their way to attracting Black gold.

The Caribbean Escape differs from other organized African American trips, which typically appeal to a younger audience, are cruise ship based, or lack an island adventure component.

Caribbean Escape vacationers can opt for a Resort only package, or the more extensive Premium Inclusive package, which includes excursions to the British Virgin Islands, yacht cocktail parties, dinners, parties, entertainment and hospitality discounts on shopping, spa, drinks, golf and other hotel amenities. “We created a travel experience that gives vacationers plenty of options,” says Mixon. “To top it off, Black Boater’s Summit participants will join Caribbean Escape attendees at The Westin for the final 2 days of the trip.”

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