Sekou Saunders, the CEO of The Destination Club, has found a way to merge his passion for travel and to bring groups together with also giving a Black voice to an industry so overpowered by a majority. The Destination Club is an exclusive, members-only travel club for likeminded individuals with enthralling energy who hope to experience the world with a similar demographic.
OL: Tell me about yourself and your business. How did the idea of The Destination Club develop?
SS: My love for travel began in my early twenties when I traveled to Japan with friends. I loved the sense of freedom and adventure travel provided. I worked as a marketing brand tour manager and a music festival associate producer for years before taking a trip to Sydney, Australia, where the idea of The Destination Club was born.
Shortly after, I moved to the Dominican Republic to put his thoughts in motion. The ultimate vision for the Destination Club was simple: to make travel easy while creating memorable experiences.
I managed to make traveling a breeze and have created a safe space for solo travelers to feel comfortable and eliminated the typical boring vacation by incorporating experience and culture. Many life-long friendships that have formed are the direct result of the Destination Club.
Each year up to two countries are added, which are personally scouted for months before being added as an itinerary. This ensures that clients have a memorable experience. I believe our focus on everyone’s personal experience will keep clients coming back and The Destination Club thriving for years to come.
OL: How did you get to where you are today?
SS: I just stayed consistent, kept scouting new places and planning new trips. I didn’t care about making money, I just wanted the most people to experience our travels, and from there, I knew they would spread the word and return for more trips themselves.
OL: What limitations did you face rising to the top?
SS: I haven’t made it to the top yet, and I wouldn’t call them limitations. I’ve had some setbacks, but that’s expected when you’re building a company. As long as you can learn from them and still keep going, it’s ok. I think failures in the early stages are great lessons and necessary to be successful. If I made the mistakes three years ago now, it would hurt a lot more. In this field, I believe there are no limits, and anything growth-wise is possible.
OL: Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 years? Ten years?
SS: We’re a small business now, so In 5 to 10 years, I see us in a completely different space. With an entire staff and team, we are taking travel to another level, with the same attention to detail and connection with our club members. I see us making more significant event-based trips, including island music festivals. In 5 to 10 years, I see us being a brand that people think of nationwide when they want to travel. We plan on growing our company to the point where is if you don’t travel with us, it won’t be because you never heard of The Destination Club
OL: What advice do you have to aspire Black travelers who hope to be as worldly as you are?
SS: Just get out there and do it. Take it one trip at a time. Do a lot of research beforehand, so you don’t waste time once you’re there. Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. Even when it comes to flights, there are always deals somewhere at different times of the year. Have fun and be in the moment.