Meet The Brothers Showing The World That The Caribbean Is More Than Just Beaches & Resorts
By DeAnna Taylor
For brothers Steve and Patrick Bennett, hearing travelers and those within the travel industry only talk about the Caribbean as a sun, sand, and sea destination became frustrating. As native West Indians, they knew that there was so much more to the region than what was being shown.
So, they took it upon themselves to become the ambassadors of experiential Caribbean travel that the region needed and thus Uncommon Caribbean was born.
“Steve had just attended yet another Caribbean travel conference where the usual suspects made the usual proclamations around the region’s sun, sand, and sea while almost completely overlooking the cultural richness of the region where we grew up,” the brothers told Travel Noire. “To say he was frustrated is an understatement.”
Uncommon Caribbean isn’t just another tour company. They are on a mission to authentically evangelize the real Caribbean often overlooked in mass media. They are starting by showing travelers the unbeaten paths in hopes that they will gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the cultural aspects of the region.
“You wouldn’t go to Paris and stay in an all-inclusive resort eating hamburgers and drinking American beer without ever leaving, right,” said the brothers. “Then why do that in a land as diverse, naturally beautiful, and culturally rich as the West Indies?”
In addition to educating travelers, they also work with governmental tourism agencies, hotels, and other travel brands to equip them with the tools to effectively reach their clients and provide them with that authentic piece that is often missing.
“For too long, our region, our culture, and our pride as a people was undermined by marketing that simply touted the Caribbean as a playground for tourists to take advantage of,” Patrick explained. “After I moved to the states, sometimes it would surprise people to hear that I grew up in the Caribbean. Or that I lived in a regular western house and not some kind of hut. This isn’t only destructive in how this ignorance manifests within individual tourists and how they view the West Indians they may come in contact with while in the region, there are larger implications, too.”
They are tired of seeing cruise ships dumping waste on the reefs without little or no repercussions, local governments granting unsustainable rights to the region’s natural resources, and West Indians growing up without valuing their own heritage more than that of the U.S.
Uncommon Caribbean is a means to rebuild the value of the region, culture, and people that mean so much to them.
To learn more about Uncommon Caribbean and its mission, you can visit the website: www.uncommincaribbean.com. You can find them on Instagram and Twitter at: @uncommoncarib and Facebook: Uncommon Caribbean.
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.