Black Meetings and Tourism

May / June 2016

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B M & T ••• May/June 2016 ••• 4 T he faith-based travel market is growing fast as more destinations and suppliers work with religious organizations to create new products. Large groups embarking on pilgrim- ages or Holy Land tours are typical examples of faith-based travel, though there is a growing interest in smaller groups and unique experi- ences in this market segment. Spiritually moti- vated travel – whether it's an "Eat, Pray, Love" style journey or a meditation retreat – is also on the rise. An estimated 25% of all U.S. travelers are interested in taking a spiritual vacation, and the U.S. market is currently about 16 million strong, according to one source. Worldwide, the fig- ures are impressive: up to 330 million people visit key religious sites each year, according to the World Tourism Organization (WTO). And faith-based tourism contributes $50 billion to $100 billion to the global economy each year. Some 50,000 U.S. churches have travel pro- grams, and that includes a wide range of possi- bilities, such as service-based or mission trips, religious conferences, and youth group outings. If you represent a destination, lodging or meeting venue and are not getting a piece of this huge and growing niche within a niche, now is your opportunity to learn more about Faith- Based travel and how to grow your share of this lucrative market. You are invited to attend "Tapping Into the African-American Faith Based Travel Market" at this year's Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show in Miami, July 29-31. PUBLISHER'S MESSAGE The workshop, being presented by Black Meetings & Tourism, will take place on Saturday afternoon, July 30 from 2-3 pm at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel. Velton Showell, pres- ident/CEO of Strategic Solutions LLC will serve as moderator, while confirmed panelists include Albert Tucker, vice president of Multicultural Business Development for the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, Roy Jay, president/CEO of the Oregon Convention & Visitor Services network, Linville Johnson, direc- tor of the African-American Market for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Gloria Herbert, associate pub- lisher/editor, Black Meetings & Tourism, and yours truly. You'll definitely want to be there for this infor- mation packed session. Black Meetings & Tourism will also be presenting a second workshop at the Summit – on Incentive Programs. Scheduled to immediately follow the Faith-Based workshop in the 3-4 pm timeslot, this session will be presented by Matt Thomas, senior vice president of business development for Black Meetings & Tourism, and Katrina Ruff, senior vice president of business development for Forums Meetings & Events. You will not want to miss the valuable material that will be offered here. And finally, BM&T will also be giving out its Apex Awards for Distinguished Service at the Saturday night Gala, which boasts Roy Jay and Haitian enter- tainer Niska Garoute as co-MCs. The st ller lineup of Apex recipients being honored includes Hon. Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism for Jamaica, Ana Aponte-Curtis, Chairman of NCBMP, Jason Dunn, vice president of Multicultural & Community Development for Cincinnati USA CVB, Jim Wood, president/CEO of Meet AC, Orlando Ashford, pres- ident Holland America Line, Treva J. Marshall, pres- ident TMJ Communications, John Best, presi- dent/CEO, Capitol Entertainment Services, Inc., Elaine Pinder, president/CEO of Gilgan Holdings, and Hon. Johnny Ford, Mayor of Tuskegee, AL. If you haven't registered for the Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show yet, there's still time. Simply visit http://www.multicultural- and begin the process. We look forward to seeing you there. 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 2016 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: e

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