Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


School of Urban and Regional Studies

Major Professor

Chacko, Harsha

Second Advisor

Gladstone, David

Third Advisor

Nelson, Marla

Fourth Advisor

Whelan, Robert


After the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the desegregation of public transportation and facilities and with the advancements that African Americans have gained in education, income, and employment, African Americans have greater access to travel opportunities. Today's African Americans travel in greater numbers than ever before and represent a dynamic and growing travel market segment that according to the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) (2003) generated 75 million person trips in 2002. Although there have been several studies conducted on the differences between ethnic or racial groups with regard to their participation in outdoor recreation, research on differences between African American and White traveler behaviors in the urban tourism context is sparse. This study examined the differences between African American and White travelers who visited the city of New Orleans. Specifically, the study investigated demographic variables (income and gender) for their contribution to the differences between African American and White travelers in the modes of travel, activities participated in, sources of travel information, importance of destination activities, satisfaction with destination attributes, and spending patterns. Significant differences were found in modes of travel, activities participated in, sources of information, information of destination attributes findings (popular, African American Values, and sport and recreation), satisfaction with New Orleans on the destination attributes entertainment, African American Values, and spending. Although the findings of this study reflect the trip characteristics of travelers to New Orleans, future research should examine the applicability to other urban tourism destinations.


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