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A New Way to See Black Paris

A New Way to See Black Paris

(PRWEB) November 11, 2004

Discover Paris! Â? a company that offers many unique activities for African-Americans traveling to Paris Â? is introducing a new concept in Black travel: the self-guided itinerary.

African Americans often travel in groups, particularly when they journey abroad. But Discover Paris! co-founder and vice president Monique Wells observes that Â?travel is most meaningful when it is personalÂ? and that Â?it is difficult to have a personal experience when you are traveling with 20 or more peopleÂ?. So for a limited time, Discover Paris is offering a two-day, self-guided itinerary on African-American history in Paris at a special low introductory price.

Wells and her husband Tom Reeves are building their companyÂ?s reputation on their personalized, self-guided itineraries for independent travelers. Their clients are typically individuals, couples or small groups. Customers complete a questionnaire indicating the types of activities and sites are of interest, and Wells and Reeves create a full itinerary based on those interests. In purchasing a self-guided itinerary, the Discover Paris! client can set his or her pace and agenda, free from the constraints of group travel.

When asked about how this concept might be received by African Americans, Sheila Umolu, director of Soul of, stated that Â?Recently, many African Americans are discovering the flexibility of independent travel to Europe. Not only are they able to take advantage of great travel deals, but they are able to get the information that usually is only available to groups. Discover Paris! itineraries provide the customized information that allow independent travelers to maximize the use of their time.Â?

African Americans represent the largest growing client base for Discover Paris!, largely because of the wide variety of à la carte (individual) activities that it offers to this group. Because Paris is a heritage site for African Americans, the company has created several self-guided historical and literary walks that feature Black history and contemporary life. It also offers a flea-market tour led by an African-American guide and wine pairing dinners and other events with an African-American wine specialist. In addition, Wells has created an introductory presentation on Black Paris and an Afro-centric bus tour to accommodate large groups.

As the author of the walks in Paris Reflections: Walks through African-American Paris (McDonald & Woodward, 2002), Wells strongly believes in bringing the concept of self-guided travel to the African-American community. She would like to see an increase in the number of African Americans requesting self-guided à la carte walks, and would also like to have these clients �graduate� from the two- to three-hour self-guided walks to three or more days of self-guided exploration of the City of Light. Hence the decision to offer the two-day, self guided African-American history itinerary.

Clients choosing to purchase this itinerary will visit neighborhoods on both the Left and Right Banks and learn of African-American entertainers, writers, soldiers and statesmen who made history there. Prominent figures include Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Jessye Norman and W. E. B. Du Bois. Sites include the hotel where the late African-American billionaire Reginald Lewis launched his takeover of TLC Beatrice; the Sorbonne, where the first Congress of Negro Artists and Writers was held in 1956; and the neighborhood where jazz clubs and other African-American businesses flourished between World Wars I and II. They will receive a personalized guidebook containing descriptive commentary and maps indicating the routes for each day, color illustrations and restaurant recommendations for lunch and dinner.

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