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Industry Briefs
The African-Diaspora World Tourism Awards
 

The online magazine AfricanDiasporaTourism.com (ADT) in association with the AD King Foundation presented the African Diaspora World Tourism Awards & Travel Show Expo in Atlanta, Ga. (USA) on April 26-28, 2013.

The African Diaspora World Tourism Awards, the first ever awards ceremony honoring trailblazers in the field of Black culture and heritage as an influence on tourism, was designed to show appreciation of the service and dedication of key people from around the world who have significantly influenced world tourism and the exploration of the global places of Black culture and heritage.

 

Delegates converged on Atlanta from throughout the US, as well as from Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, Guyana, Bermuda, Trinidad & Tobago and Nova Scotia, among others, with the largest delegation coming from Benin and including Benin’s minister of tourism Jean-Michel Abimbola.

An evening with Bob Marley's grandchildren, Donisha & Biggz General. Was the pre-conference event that kicked off the festive gathering on both Wednesday and Thursday nights. Donisha hosted the Atlanta premiere of her travel documentary: Rasta: A Soul's Journey, followed by Biggz General & Artikal SoundSystem live reggae music.

 

On Friday afternoon the conference officially got under way when attendees participated in a Travel Expo Meet & Greet at the Auburn Avenue Historic Fire Station No. 6 Museum at King Center. The Expo was followed by an Africana Extravaganza Cultural Show, also held at the Museum.

On Saturday April 27th, an early morning visit to Atlanta’s legendary King Center was followed by the Hall of Fame Luncheon, during which a number of honorees were inducted into the ADWTA Hall of Fame.

 

The official African Diaspora World Tourism Awards Gala Ceremony took place later on Saturday, at the Atlanta Airport Marriott. The evening included a reception, a Hall of Fame Red Carpet Walk, and the awards ceremony. The awards recognized trailblazers of the post-‘60s period that have made contributions from the 1970s until the present and were part of ADWTA’s "Hall of Fame" and "Who's Who" tributes. Notables and professionals from these two categories honored with awards included tour operators, heritage site administrators, cultural heritage scholars, festivals organizers, museums founders and directors, tourism executives, art gallery and cultural center founders and directors, ministers of tourism, governmental officials, association leaders, exhibitors, writers, publishers, preservationists and cultural artists.

 

Among those honorees in attendance were Ogo Sow (Atlanta/Senegal), Minister Percy Parris (Nova Scotia), Solomon and Gloria Herbert (BM&T/Los Angeles), Dr. Ewart Brown (Bermuda), Prince Kuma’a Ndumbe III (Cameroon), Charlotte Haymore (TPOC/Denver), Betty Jones (TPOC/Denver), Michael Munn (Boston), Georgina Lorencz (Ghana/Minneapolis), and Dr. Gaynell Henderson-Bailey (Washington, DC), to name a few. A partial list of honorees that were not in attendance includes notables like Congressman John Lewis, Mr. And Ms. Muhammad Ali, Beverly Nicholson-Doty (US Virgin Islands), Ms. Coretta King, Danny Glover, Dr. Julius Garvey, Dr. Asa Hilliard, Bob and Rita Marley, former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, Carole Guntley (Jamaica), former Ambassador Andy Young, Tavis Smiley, Dr. Maulana Karenga, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Dr. Jean Ping, and many others from around the world.



ADT publications editor Kitty J. Pope, who is the founder/director and producer of this event, says that an award ceremony of this type is needed because we have shining stars who have worked hard to push forth agendas related to Black culture and heritage tourism. "There is the annual World Travel Awards that is the 'Oscars' of the travel industry; but because of its uniqueness, I feel that a separate, special event is needed for the culture and heritage contributions of people of African descent," says Pope.
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