Black Meetings and Tourism

November / December 2016

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B M & T ••• November/December 2016 ••• 4 I n the toxic environment spawned by the current and extremely hostile and divisive presidential campaign, the time has come for those within our industry segment to join forces, work cooperatively, and seriously embrace the concept of unity. In normal times, the meetings/travel/tourism industry has not been particularly hospitable to African- Americans and other people of color. The num- bers speak profoundly louder than any argu- ment I could make here to support this per- spective, with African-Americans holding a scant 2% of all senior level positions within our industry. During these more challenging times, we must commit to supporting one another if we are all to survive, and more importantly, flourish. From my point of view, there are four institu- tions within our corner of the industry that deserve our collective and complete support, advocacy and assistance. Four organizations that over the years have consistently stepped up to the plate to represent all of our best inter- ests and address our needs as a community of industry professionals. The four organizations about which I speak are the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP), Travel Professionals of Color (TPOC), National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD), and Black Meetings & Tourism (BM&T). These organiza- tions are there for you, and in the spirit of unity, as well as in your own best interests, you should be there for them. PUBLISHER'S MESSAGE The NCBMP, founded in 1983, is the premier association serving the needs of African-American meeting planners, and offers a full range of mem- bership benefits, everything from educational con- ferences to personal and professional develop- ment, as well as networking and sales opportuni- ties, among other things. TPOC, founded in 2002, is designed to unify and mobilize Travel Professionals of Color, providing training, net- working opportunities and support for travel agents and travel trade professionals around the globe. The primary goal at NABHOOD, founded in 1996, is to increase the number of African- Americans developing, managing, operating and owning hotels, as well as to increase vendor opportunities and executive level jobs for minori- ties, thereby creating wealth within the African- American community. And of course, BM&T was launched in 1993 to acknowledge the contribu- tions of African-Americans in meetings, travel, tourism and hospitality, be an advocate for their concerns and issues, provide a platform for their voices to be heard, and promote diversity and inclusion throughout the industry. Do you and your organization support these four institutions? If not you should be. As much good and positive work as each of these institu- tions has done in the years they have been oper- ating, imagine how much more they could have accomplished with your support? Our collective support! Don't make the mistake of assuming someone else will do it. It's your responsibility and no one else's! Those who have been in the industry more than a few years will remember the InterAmerican Travel Agents Society (ITAS), the first professional association of Black travel agents established in 1953. For 50 years this pioneering organization worked diligently to pro- mote, educate and represent Black travel agents only to die a slow death on the vine without the support of enough travel agents and industry partners to sustain them. Don't let history repeat itself. Support your institutions and they will continue to be there for you! Go to to learn more about each of these important organi- zations and resources. Just scroll down to the bot- tom of the BM&T home page and you will find NCBMP, NABHOOD and TPOC icons that will link you directly to each of their individual websites. 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:

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