Gabrielle Jeri-Greene is the founder and CEO of DC Block Girl International (DCBG), a boutique travel agency committed to empowering people through travel.
The company prides itself on giving their clients a true concierge experience. Because of this service and other benefits, DCBG continues to grow their LGBTQ clientele across the country. Jeri-Greene believes “Our community isn’t defined by our skin color or gender, which provides us with a special set of skills and a unity that many other communities don’t have.”
DCBG’s clientele ranges from people looking for customized experiences to people who are more self-savvy and independent. Jeri-Greene looks at their booking hub as a “Gay Expedia.”
She spoke with Tagg about supporting LGBTQ businesses and the perks of booking with DC Block Girl International.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
My favorite place to travel is Cuba. It’s an untouched and unique island. The culture is so rich with a wealth of diversity. I love the vintage feel of the island.
Visiting Cuba forces you to unplug and be a real person. It forces you to meet real people. But best of all, it forces you to shed a lot of our materialistic heirs about ourselves and really appreciate the awesome experience of living life to the fullest.
But, my favorite thing is that the island is so accepting of other nations and communities. They have a large LGBTQ community and have programs that bring awareness, protection, and equality. They also host festivals and have several nightclubs and restaurants that are owned, operated, and supported by LGBTQ family and friends.
Why do you think it’s important for the community to support LGBTQ-owned businesses?
It is important for us to support each other because doing so allows us opportunities to help other minorities and disenfranchised groups. Supporting our businesses gives us power to provide a village for ourselves. Supporting gay-owned businesses provides a healthy and empowering network.
How is your company different from other travel companies?
We aren’t in the business of just selling hotels and airfare. There are an abundance of online sites already doing that. We aren’t going to overwhelm you with choices that lead you down a rabbit hole. We aren’t in the business of cutting corners for cheap rates.
Our agents stay up-to-date on unsafe territories and will always guide clients towards experiences that are better suited for them. This is very important, especially in the LGBTQ community. Regardless if our clients book online or with one of our agents, they’ll always be provided live customer service. We are real people and so are our clients.
Walk us through the steps of your online booking system.
Our online booking is simple. We provide a web portal for our Internet savvy travelers. When you click on “Book Online” from our LGBTQ site, you will be directed to our online booking portal. This site operates like all other online travel booking sites. Our site will populate options that fit your criteria. Our online booking site allows you to book hotels, airfare, car rentals, airport transfers, excursions, and travel insurance. What sets us apart from other online booking sites is we provide two things: flexible payments and customer service. If you book at least six weeks out, we provide options to pay a deposit as low as $50 with extended time to pay the balance. Also, when you book online we provide you customer service throughout the booking process.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about booking with travel agents?
Many people think travel agents are like used car salesmen. They think we have hidden fees and are overcharging them for booking trips. That is not the case at all at DCBG International. There are fees with booking with agents, however, they aren’t hidden and are explained clearly to all of our clients. What most people don’t realize is when they book travel with major online companies there are terms and conditions. There are fees included in those terms, as well as on your travel summaries and confirmations. DCBG International operates the same way. We are always upfront with all of our terms, fees, booking stipulations and expectations.
Why should people book with you?
Booking with DCBG International boils down to the experience you are looking for, your purpose for travel, and how you value your dollar. If you are looking to book everything yourself at a very low cost, we recommend trying out our online booking component. If you are looking for exclusive customer service throughout your entire booking and travel experience, we have professional and friendly agents on standby. It’s a big world out there and we are here to assist you in experiencing every aspect of it!