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Industry Briefs
Black Meetings And Tourism Editor-At-Large Appointed To Brand USA Advisory Board

Michael Bennett
, editor-at-large for Black Meetings and Tourism magazine and CEO of Bennett Global Entertainment (BGE) has been appointed to the Brand USA Advisory Board.

In a first for the United States, President Barack Obama announced on January 19, 2012, a national strategy on travel and tourism to boost international visitation to the U.S. Brand USA is the public private partnership charged with carrying out that mission – to make the United States the world’s top travel and tourism destination.

“This is the first time our country has had a national strategy and set goals for the amount of visitors we want to welcome to our country,” said the President. Bennett welcomes the opportunity to serve on such a prestigious board. “I’ve been traveling internationally since I was a child thanks to my father’s military career. Many years later I still remember how excited my Spanish friends were about America, experiencing it vicariously through me during the three years we were stationed in Spain. They were in love with our country – my country.”

“Being part of Brand USA in this advisory capacity is more than economics and American jobs, it’s a chance to recapture the excitement of a little boy who wanted to share America with the world,” says Bennett.

While the U.S. remains one of the top tourist destinations, it’s getting some steep competition from other countries. The European Union spends a collective $800 million per year promoting foreign travel while the U.S. has spent nothing. The U.S. travel industry represents $1.8 trillion in economic output supporting 14 million American jobs.

Bennett has been involved in the travel and tourism industry for more than 15-years. In the mid 1990s while working at Los Angeles television station KCOP, he was recruited by the Travel Channel to promote travel and tourism worldwide. As senior producer and manager of west coast operations, he produced programming, commercials and promotional materials for the network and represented the Travel Channel as an invited guest of governments and corporations worldwide. During his tenure Bennett co-authored the network’s broadband initiative and produced the first ever live-broadcast.

He has continued his work in the travel and tourism industry as a freelance journalist for a variety of publications and as consultant and editor-at-large for Black Meetings and Tourism magazine.  Bennett writes about key initiatives in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Areas of expertise include: destination marketing, meetings, conferences, exhibitions, tourism, hotel investment and contract negotiations.

He’s an advocate for multicultural initiatives designed to bring more minorities into the industry and has facilitated multicultural strategies targeting convention and visitors bureaus, hotels and destinations. Bennett is a much sought after speaker and trainer on travel, social media and emerging technology applications.

BGE is a new digital media and entertainment company slated to launch this year. A significant part of the BGE corporate charter is to incorporate digital media technology, social network marketing and traditional advertising techniques into the new 21st Century entertainment and media platforms.