Queen Latifah is giving fans a glimpse at how celebrities experience the world’s most beautiful destinations with her new Travel Channel mini-series, “The Best Place To Be.”
Executive produced by Latifah and business partner Shakim Compere’s production company Flavor Unit, each one-hour episode follows a noted personality sharing the hidden hot spots of their favorite international destinations, including Anthony Anderson (Barcelona), Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen (Hong Kong), Mary-Louise Parker (Kenya), and Latifah herself (Rio de Janeiro).
The multifaceted media maven told The Huffington Post that she wants viewers to experience travel through the lens of a celebrity.
“The premise of it was something that Shakim came up with based on my life,” she said. “When I go on vacations I travel to different places around the world and oftentimes I’m with friends of mine who hip me to the cool places to be and things to go to. And for a lot of celebrities, this is our only little break to escape and kind of be normal without the spotlight.”
“And so, we want to share that place with the world and tell them about their secret spots, because we want to see it through their lens,” she added.
The show couldn’t have come at a better moment for the production duo.
In recent years, travel research group MMGY Global has found a surge in African Americans’ intent to travel internationally, which some have argued was previously overlooked and undocumented by mass media. Reports credit travel websites targeting people of color and social media influencers as contributing factors for the supposed increase.
With reports of the “black travel movement” being on the rise, Latifah wants the mini-series to inspire even more people to broaden their international horizons.
“Sometimes it takes the media a minute to catch up and actually care about what we’re doing,” she said. “But we know what we do, and we know we love to take a vacation and get away and just enjoy life. But I’m hoping the show will just give them more places to go and stretch their horizons even further. I love to be in a land where I don’t speak the native language, but people are people no matter where you go.”
As for the best way to maximize one’s travel experience, the award-winning actress-rapper recommends travelers venture off the “beaten path” of where tourists traditionally visit for a more cultured experience.
“You’ll have a much more richer experience when you travel like that,” she said. “If you really want an experience that’s gonna stay with you for your life and you can come home, tell people who maybe can’t get there at that time. It’s so much more rich and deep and fulfilling than what you would do if you hung around the pool all day.”
Check out an all-new episode of “The Best Place To Be” on April 11 at 12 p.m. / 11 a.m. Central on the Travel Channel.