Black Meetings and Tourism

Jan / Feb 2015

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B M & T ••• January/February 2015 ••• 4 W ith the coming of 2015, I am rededicating our efforts to promote Black Meetings & Tourism's "Stay-A-Day, See Our USA" initiative. We have covered this topic in numerous articles and publisher's mes- sages in the past, but the potential eco- nomic impact this program can have on our community is well worth emphasizing again here. Who benefits from Stay-A-Day? African-American restaurants, cultural and heritage tourism sites, tour opera- tors, travel agents, Black-owned hotels and bread and breakfast locations, African-American chambers of commerce and local businesses, meeting planners, festivals and special events. The increase in tax revenues could help replenish cash strapped state and local coffers, and of course generate new jobs. This is an eco- nomic opportunity that all communities should embrace regardless of the type of organization one might represent. It's a win-win not only for the African-American community, but the United States as a whole. The basis of "Stay-A-Day" is to ask ALL visitors and conference attendees traveling to or within the US to add an PUBLISHER'S MESSAGE Solomon J. Herbert Publisher/Editor-In- Chief E-Mail: extra day to their itinerary and: visit an African- American cultural and/or heritage site; dine at an Ethnic Eatery; and purchase items from African-American retail stores, artists and craft artisans. 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 wor- ship at an African-American Church. It is estimated that $367.1 million in revenue would be added to the US economy 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 travelers included an additional day in their itiner- aries. That's a whopping $2.2 billion a day being pumped into the US economy, a sizable portion of it reenergizing African-American communities across the US. BM&T's two main Stay-A-Day industry partners, NABHOOD (National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers), and TPOC (Travel Professionals of Color) have helped spread the word about the potential revenue this initiative can gen- erate for the travel/meetings/hospitality industry. Following through on her strong commitment to pro- mote the Stay-A-Day initiative, TPOC president Carolyn White has invited Black Meetings & Tourism to organize a Stay-A-Day, See Our USA Roundtable Discussion during TPOC's annual conference in East Point, GA during May. Atlanta area elected represen- tatives, meetings and tourism industry officials, as well as local senior association executives from groups like 100 Black Men are being invited to participate in this important discussion. Furthermore, BM&T is reaching out to a number of prominent African-American associations to enlist their support in order to move the Stay-A-Day program for- ward. Organizations including the National Urban League, the US Black Chambers, Inc. and the National Black Church Initiative, for example, whose member- ships would benefit greatly from the success of this ini- tiative. We are also hoping to engage Brand USA in the program, which supports their continued efforts to promote international travel to the United States. If you recognize the value of our Stay-A-Day vision, then get on board and urge your local CVBs, chambers of commerce, neighborhood entrepreneurs and small businesses to get involved. If we work together, we can bring this initiative to life, and build wealth in our communities in the process. 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 2015 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.

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