Black Meetings and Tourism

July/August 2014

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39 B M & T ••• July/August 2014••• JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013 T he cover of our January/February 2013 issue was dominated by BM&T's "Stay-A-Day, See Our USA" ini- tiative in an effort to show the strong tie-in between this program and the theme of our cover story "Heritage Tourism Not Only a Strong Draw During Black History Month But All Year Long." The basis of the program is to ask ALL visitors and conference attendees trav- eling in the US to add an extra day to their itinerary and: visit an African-American cul- tural and/or heritage site; dine at an Ethnic Eatery; and purchase items from African- American retail stores, artists and craft arti- sans. Additionally, the program suggests, if possible: book travel/tours with an African-American Travel Agent, Tour Operator; stay at a Black-owned hotel or bed and breakfast; and worship at an African-American Church It is estimated that $367.1 million in revenue would be added to the US econ- omy each day if all international visitors extended their travel experience in this country. Approximately $1.8 billion a day would be generated if all domestic travel- ers included an additional day in their itineraries. Imagine the economic impact possibilities if a fare share of these dol- lars found their way into our community. Other features included "The 25 Largest African-American Convention in 2012," "Are International Destinations Still a Viable Option for Meeting Planners?," and "CVB Heads Annual Report." "Newsmakers" reported the hiring of Ernest Wooden as president/CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. Also in this issue were Tonya Ray-Smith (executive director of the Yazoo County CVB), Roger Dow, Karen Harvey, Kim Dooley, Betty Jones, James Smither, Elliott Ferguson, Jack Ferguson, Dittie Guise, James Ricketts, Lenoir Stallings, David Whitaker, Campbell Rudder, Ahmeenah Young and Nicole Johnson- Reece. During 2013 BM&T also addressed the Trayvon Martin killing and the threatened boycott of Florida, as well as a boycott that was called for against San Francisco by the local Black Chamber. In September, Black Meetings & Tourism was selected as the official travel publication of the National Policy Alliance. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 T wo Thousand and Fourteen was an eventful year for Black Meetings & Tourism, and it isn't even over yet. BM&T partnered with the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB to pres- ent a hosted buyer event in Florida that included a town hall meeting that addressed the economic of travel and tourism for the Black community, among other topics. It was also the year that BM&T announced plans to relaunch its travel TV show in the very near future. The cover story for January/February, "20 Unforgettable African-American Heritage Sites," was in keeping with our year-long 20th Anniversary Celebration. "What You Don't Know is Costing You" is a feature in that issue that debunked the myth that African-American travelers and meeting planners are a market segment not worth investing in, and reported on the big bucks that far too many destinations are leaving on the table without even knowing it. Other features included "Montreal – All That Jazz, and So Much More," "Effective Time Management Tips," "Cruise Conferences: Are They Cost Effective?" and "Should There Be a CVB Report Card," which offered one possible strategy for leveraging Black buying power to create more parity for people of color in the hospitality/travel/meetings industry. Those appearing in this issue includ- ed Darren Green, Lisa Kershner, Carlos Tait, Mayor James Walls, Jr., Judge Denise Langford Morris, Darlene Young, Al Tucker, Mayor Barbara Sharief, Velton Showell, Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, Larry Alexander, Roy Jay, Linda Haithcox and Anita Patty-Johnson. It's been a challenging 20 years, but we believe we have met and exceeded our mis- sion as stated in our very first issue – to provide "you with a high quality publication that showcases African-American hospitality professionals, recognizes their achieve- ments in this industry, affords them a plat- form to address their concerns, and serves as an agent for change." With your contin- ued and increased support we are ready to take on the next 20 years. JOHN ROLFE ERNEST WOODEN NORMAN JENKINS BENNISH BROWN

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