Black Meetings and Tourism

May/June 2022

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B M & T ••• May/June 2022 ••• 4 O n any given day Black Meetings & Tourism receives anywhere between 100-200 unsolicited press releases, story pitches and editorial ideas for our print/digital magazine and e-newsletter. We wel- come these submissions because they allow us to keep our vast audience of meeting planners, association execu- tives, travel agents, tour operators and other tourism/meeting professionals up to date with the latest news that impacts our industry. So please feel free to keep them coming in and keep us up to speed and current. On the other hand, I find it most trou- bling and concerning that the marketing departments of most of these same des- tinations, hotels, cruise lines, etc. are missing in action when it comes to return- ing the support we have given them for years. When we contact them about also reaching the African-American market that we serve through advertising and marketing programs in BM&T, in most cases they don't even respond at all, while a few inform us that their budgets are already allocated. It's hard to fathom that in 2022, after nearly 30 years of pub- lishing Black Meetings & Tourism to rave PUBLISHER'S MESSAGE 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 2022 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. Solomon J. Herbert Publisher/Editor-In-Chief E-Mail: reviews, why we should still be faced with such obstacles and roadblocks. If truth be told, what we are experiencing is nothing new in our industry. The same lack of foresight, and the stereotypical biases that folks in travel/meetings/hospitality have (some of who may not even know that they have) are responsi- ble for a whole array of imbalances. From the fact that out of more than 700 convention & visitor bureaus across the nation, only about 10 have African-American presidents or executive direc- tors, to only one of the 50 state departments of tourism being headed by an African-American – in Virginia. This also explains why less than 4% of destinations advertise with Black-owned media. Fortunately, there are those in leadership posi- tions within our industry that don't buy into such discriminatory practices, and make a special effort to change the picture, level the\ playing field, and correct some long standing and unfair conditions. So I want to take this opportunity to thank our advertising partners, some of whom have been with us from day one, and others, who over the years, have stepped up to take a stand on diver- sity, inclusion an parity. We encourage our read- ers, especially the planners and travel agents, when considering destinations, hotels and con- vention centers into which to book your business, to support those who regularly invest in Black Meetings & Tourism with their advertising and marketing dollars. They deserve your business! It is within your power to bring about changes that will be in everyone's best interest if you spend your travel/meeting dollars with those who respect the lucrative African-American market segment and support it with more than just lip service. The ball is in your court!

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