Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2020

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B M & T ••• March/April 2020 ••• 16 Still, cruising is a bottom-line business, and Ri'chard noted the goal to make HAL a top-of-mind vacation choice. "Whether it's traveling with family, friends, solo or as part of a group or conference, Holland America Line is a great vacation option, with cruises around the world from seven days to 128 days." She also noted HAL's "give back" program, which offers to donate to the charity of a customer's choice, including a campaign to raise $1 mil- lion for HBCUs. Lisa Blake, HAL business development manager for affinity and diversity group sales, also wants to bring groups out of hotels and onto HAL for their meetings and events. "We are a 'moving hotel' with the same amenities and functions of a hotel," she said. "We have complimentary meeting space and are able to host small and large groups. The beautiful thing is that you get to experience different foods, countries, and cultures when you book your meeting on one of our ships. "A lot of individuals aren't aware that the President of Holland America is African-American," Blake noted. "African-Americans are always willing to support and want to work with companies that have a presence for African-Americans in decision-making positions. I have encountered many organizations that never thought about cruising but want to give us the business, when they find out about our leadership." Ashford projects HAL's mission beyond just the tourism industry. "So much of our perspective comes from being African-Americans, but when you look outside this country, you can see that across the globe, the perceptions and value associated with being Black are often quite different. "As our world becomes increasingly global, and the Black discussion of our real and perceived value contin- ues to intensify, it's important for us to understand and assess our value, in business, in government, in society, and then leverage and exercise our power for the better- ment of ourselves as individuals, and for the African dias- pora as a group. "And one of the best ways you can experience those dif- ferences in how we are perceived internationally is through travel. Experience the world, and then have those conversa- tions out loud as you travel globally. Educate oneself about that power by experiencing it first-hand." . it has to offer Greensbo in new m r a h c n w o t l l a m s e f f o o r o b s n e e r G surprise be will ou Y oro! e S . l a e p p a y t i c g i b d n a m n i b m o c t c e f r e p e h t s r e visitg all by ed s ' t a h w e e f o n o i t a n

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