Black Meetings and Tourism

January / February 2018

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B M & T ••• January/February 2018 ••• 4 C ommissioner Beverly Nicholson- Doty and the United States Virgin Islands are the focus of our cover story for this issue of Black Meetings & Tourism. As we are all aware, two major hurricanes – Irma and Maria – hit the Caribbean during September of 2017, wreaking much havoc and destruction on these beautiful islands. Our prayers contin- ue to go out to our brothers and sisters in the region who lost property, loved ones, and were otherwise affected by the storms. The islands that received the most dev- astation included the USVI, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, Barbuda, Turks and Caicos, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Anguilla, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St. Martin/St. Maarten and Antigua. While we do not wish to in any way min- imize the destruction that has been visited upon the region, it is important that travelers understand that the overwhelming majority of the destinations in the Caribbean are up and running and open for business. Most of the hotels, with the exception of those that were very severely damaged, were welcom- ing visitors within a week or two after the storms had run their course. We urge all who had scheduled or were contemplating a meeting or vacation in the region to follow PUBLISHER'S MESSAGE through on their travel plans. It is more important now than ever for us to support our colleagues in the Caribbean who depend so heavily on travel and tourism to sustain themselves, their families and their businesses. They are us, and we are them! If we don't come to the aid of our own during their time of need, who will? If there is a silver lining to the tragic consequences of Irma and Maria, it's that the hotels, villas, restaurants and other venues that were damaged by the storms will all be upgraded and improved as the rebuilding process moves forward. So the next time you and your attendees or your vacation clients visit the Caribbean it will be an even better experience than any in the past. There's also been an increase in volunteer tourism travelers coming to the region to participate in the rebuilding process. Anyone interested in participating in a community service project during your visit to the region should reach out to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), or the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA). Each organization should be able to refer you to the appropriate agencies planning or implementing community service projects i the various destinations within the region. For further information, visit www.caribbeanhote- or If you would like to contribute money to assist in the rebuild- ing process go to the CTO Relief Fund, gofundme.- com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto, or The Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund, 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 2018 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: n

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