Black Meetings and Tourism

Sept/Oct 2012

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ICI •pg_3-13__BMT_pg3-58 12/22/12 3:34 AM Page 4 PUBLISHER'S MESSAGE hile much attention is understandably being given to the Brand USA and Discover America programs, which targets inbound international travelers, and Black Meetings & Tourism's own "Stay-A-Day : See Our USA" initiative, which urges international and domestic visitors alike to stay an extra day or more and explore our African-American communities, there is one more effort that BM&T is undertaking to address a growing concern of our neighbors to the east, north and south. The Travel Promotion Act of 2010, which for the first time has allocated funds to promote the US as a prime choice for international travelers, has also caused some apprehension among nearby destinations that rely heavily on tourism as their number one revenue generator. Many international tourism officials have expressed concern that this stepped up marketing program will result in a loss of market share, as more and more travelers opt to visit the US rather than vacation or conference in the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico. In direct response to this concern, Black Meetings & Tourism is launching another initia- W tive, "Beyond Our Borders," which encourages international visitors to extend and enhance their travel experience even more by visiting one of our off-shore neighbors. All this of course, after they've stayed an extra day or two and visited an African-American neighborhood, dined in an African-American eatery, shopped in a Black owned boutique, overnighted in an African-American Bed & Breakfast – hopefully you get the picture by now. After all, if you've come so far and traveled eight, or 12 or 18 or more hours from Japan, or Australia, or Germany, or some other far off destination, wouldn't it make all the sense in the world to take a short ferry ride to the Bahamas, hop on a plane for a quick flight to the Mexican Riviera, or rent a car and spend a few days exploring some of the many historic communities right across our border in Canada? There are an endless array of possible travel add ons to make a memorable trip even more spectacular. On top of that, consider the cost savings for international travelers by experiencing two or more destinations for little more than the price of visiting the US alone. It's a no-brainer! Naturally, we also urge our readership of planners, travel agents, tour operators and other travel professionals to continue to include these same "Beyond Our Borders" destinations in the mix of places to consider when organizing conference and incentive programs, or booking business for their leisure travel clients. Toward this end we are beginning a "Beyond Our Borders" section in BM&T that will feature at least one offshore destination in each issue. For September/October the "African-American Guide to Meetings, Incentives & Traveling in the Caribbean" will fill the bill. In future issues we will highlight various "Beyond Our Borders" destinations in our Area Guides, Site Reports and other departments and features of BM&T. We believe this effort on our part will find synergy with the regional marketing plan being put forth by the Caribbean Tourism Development Company (CTDC), a Cayman Islands registered company jointly and equally owned by The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). Solomon J. Herbert Publisher/Editor-In-Chief E-Mail: Black Meetings & Tourism is published bi-monthly by SunGlo Enterprises, 20840 Chase St., Winnetka, CA 91306-1207 •Telephone: (818)709-0646/Fax: (818) 709-4753 Copyright 2012 by SunGlo Enterprises. All rights reserved. Single Copies, $6.00 Subscriptions $45.00. Postage Paid at Pasadena, CA. •Postmaster send address changes to Black Meetings & Tourism, 20840 Chase St., Winnetka, CA 91306-1207. 4 BM&T ••• September/October 2012 •••

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