Black Meetings and Tourism

July/Aug 2013

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•pg_3-13_ICI__BMT_pg3-58 8/12/13 5:17 PM Page 4 PUBLISHER'S MESSAGE As we at Black Meetings & Tourism approach our 20th Anniversary, we are putting the final touches on a yearlong celebration to commemorate this significant milestone in our historic development. We can think of no better time to take a retrospective look back at our industry. Where we've come from, who were the major players when we launched, and where are they now? Just as importantly, who has stepped up to the plate to follow in their footsteps and lead our market segment into the future? And of course, what role did BM&T play in all this and what does the future look like for Black Meetings & Tourism? Beginning with our September/October 2013 issue, BM&T will run a series of feature stories that will set the stage for our year of celebration. By so doing it is our intention to help educate those younger hospitality/meetings/tourism professionals about the contributions, struggles and sacrifices of the many industry veterans upon whose shoulders this new generation stands. We trust that our efforts will also resonate with those pioneers who are still around and let them know that we acknowledge them, honor them, and will never forget all that they did for this industry and our community. Hopefully this will inspire our readership to take on the next 20 years with renewed energy, dedication and resolve. Because when you truly understand where we as African-Americans began our journey in this industry and how far we've come, you will also come to the realization that while we have a lot more work to do, any goal we set for ourselves is achievable. As the saying goes, "If you can perceive it, you can achieve it!" While BM&T has never been timid about addressing controversial issues, our mission for the future is to include even more cutting edge and topical subjects of particular interest to our constituency. So the cover story for September/October is entitled "Will African-Americans Still Meet & Vacation in Florida?", which takes on the whole Trayvon Martin killing and Florida's Stand Your Ground law and how it will affect travel to and meetings in the state. Our editorial content for BM&T's November/December 2013 magazine, which is our 20th anniversary issue, will continue with the same retrospective theme, but also include some hard hitting, no nonsense features that take a serious look at the industry and how the African-American segment has been marginalized at best and often ignored at worst. "If Your Boss Knew How Much Money You Were Leaving on the Table, Would She Fire You?" is one such example. We know all too well that it is pure folly to think that astute marketers would make their decisions based on what is morally right, as opposed to what is right for business growth and right for bolstering the bottom line. Yet more CVB reps and others responsible for selling their destinations, hotels, convention centers or other visitor products ignore the simple truth that by increasing their share of the African-American market by only one or two percentage points could send their profits mushrooming through the roof. So BM&T will show them the math and cite some sterling examples of companies who have seen the light and tapped into the African-American market with much success and super ROI. And finally, beginning with the November/December 2013 issue, Black Meetings & Tourism will be getting a more reader friendly and inviting look. If you think BM&T has been spectacular in the past, and it has, you haven't seen anything yet. Stay tuned. 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 2013 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 B M & T ••• July/August 2013 •••

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