Black Meetings and Tourism

May/June 2012

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Publisher's Message ty sector hard, industrymovers and shak- ers are regrouping and intensifying their resolve to promote increased visitation to the US by international travelers, as well as encourage more domestic travel with- in our borders. As part of this overall effort, several significant programs have been undertaken. Brand USA's "Discover America" initiative for pro- moting the United States to world visi- tors, and the U.S. Travel Association's Vote Travel Campaign, "The Power of Travel…Get America Moving," that showcases the diversity of travel experi- ences available in the U.S., are leading the charge. It's not hard to understand why such a In concerted push to bolster visitor numbers has been launched. The meetings indus- try alone supports an estimated 845,000 U.S. jobs, and all components of the trav- el industry generate $1.9 trillion in eco- nomic impact and support 14.4 million jobs, according the U.S. Travel Association. We at Black Meetings & Tourism applaud these efforts and whole- heartedly support the stated mission of these two initiatives. But if past experience is any indication of what the future holds, it s clear to us that we as African-Americans must assume the responsibility of making cer- tain that these and any other programs geared to rebuilding the travel industry will also benefit our community as well. So Black Meetings & Tourismmagazine (BM&T), in collaboration with Travel Professionals of Color (TPOC) and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD), are launch- ing our own initiative – "Stay-A-Day…See Our USA," a 36-month pro- gram designed to be in support of both the Brand USA and U.S. Travel Association programs. The basis of the program is to ask ALL visitors and conference atten- dees traveling in the US to add an 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 the wake of a devastating recession that hit the tourism/meetings/hospitali- 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 economy each day if all international visitors extended their travel experi- ence in this country. Approximately $1.8 billion a day would be generated if all domestic travelers included an additional day in their itineraries. Imagine the economic impact possibilities if a fare share of these dollars found their way into our community. The purpose of "Stay-A-Day…See Our USA" is to help revitalize the overall travel industry, contribute to creating jobs in African-American communities, stimulate the nation's economy, and just as importantly, expose travelers worldwide, to the enormous cultural impact that people of African descent have made in this country. We urge our industry colleagues and fellow travelers to get behind this initiative by contacting their local convention and visitors bureaus, cham- bers of commerce, elected officials, church officials, industry organizations, media and other community leaders and ask for their participation and support. If we are to thrive and not just survive, we travel industry profession- als must be proactive, and take bold steps that will create wealth-build- ing opportunities for our community, and not just wait for others to do this for us. 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 2012 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 Black Meetings & Tourism May/June 2012:

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