For decades, the Gullah Geechee people along South Carolina’s coastline—and beyond—have continued to preserve their rich culture and heritage. As descendants of West Africa, they’ve continued to hold on to valued traditions passed down generation after generation, and even share them with their communities. Recently, Intrepid Travel teamed up with Blacks in Travel & Tourism and the Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism to introduce multi-day tours that give travelers a deeper look into the Gullah Way.
The tours—which run from December into early 2023 (and more coming at later dates)—provide an in-depth look into the impact former enslaved men and women from West Africa have made on cities like Charleston, Savannah and St. Helena Island. On the tours you can experience native dishes like okra soup to traditional art forms like sweetgrass basketweaving that can be experienced in person at Charleston’s historic straw market.
In addition to the educational component, the tours also heavily support local Black businesses and entrepreneurs along the route.
“We are excited to partner with Intrepid Travel, as its company’s mission aligns with our mission to level the playing field and create equitable opportunities for small Black suppliers in underrepresented communities in the U.S. to thrive in the travel and tourism industry. Our multi-day Black cultural heritage tour itineraries are designed to amplify and strengthen local Black-owned businesses while providing transformative experiences for culturally curious travelers,” said Stephanie M. Jones, CEO of the Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism and founder of Blacks in Travel & Tourism.
In an effort to bridge the past to present, tour stops include a visit to Mother Emanuel AME Church, the site of the tragic Charleston nine massacre, as well as visits to St. Helena Island for an interactive storytelling performance and taste of native dishes made by locals.
“While Intrepid Travel has empowered communities, businesses and partners around the world over the years, there is work to be done in amplifying Black voices and sharing the Black experience in North America,” said Matt Berna, Intrepid Travel General Manager, North America. “By partnering with Blacks in Travel & Tourism, our goal and vision is to help position local Black-owned businesses for long-term sustainability and business growth in our industry.”