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Industry Briefs

Future of Black Tourism (FOBT), a coalition of leaders working to build a sustainable global ecosystem for Blacks in travel, tourism & hospitality to thrive, is set to hold its inaugural Equity through Economics, Education and Equality Leadership Conclave (E3 Leadership Conclave) this August 6-9, 2023, at Salamander Washington DC in the nation's capital.

Future of Black Tourism was formed to bring together Black travel, tourism and hospitality leaders and allies to work collaboratively to identify, share and create collective economic opportunities for these industry stakeholders to actively participate and profit in the global travel and tourism industry, and to build capacity to sustain, grow and invest in Black-led travel, tourism and hospitality organizations and businesses. Annual signature initiatives will include Black Travel & Tourism WeekCaucus on Black Tourism on Capitol Hill, and the  E3 Leadership Conclave.

The E3 Leadership Conclave will convene founders, CEOs, executive directors of Black-led travel, tourism and hospitality organizations and networks that represent communities of Black suppliers, leisure travelers, media and influencers, meeting & event professionals, outdoor adventurers, travel advisors and students. This invitation-only gathering will bring together industry innovators, change agents and business leaders for top-level networking and education. Confirmed Future of Black Tourism collaborators to date include Blacks in Travel & Tourism, Black Travel Alliance, Africa Tourism Association, Black Travel Summit, Black & Abroad, Black Travel Expo, Outdoor Afro, Association of African American Vintners, Green Book Global, Outdoorsy Diva, The Sophisticated Life, Travel with Sparkle, Black Folks

Travel Too!, Nomadness Travel Tribe, Black Restaurant Week, Black Girls Travel Too, Advantage International, Blue Water Travel/Festival at Sea, Tourism Diversity Matters and the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals.

The E3 Leadership Conclave is hosted in partnership by the Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance's Blacks in Travel and Tourism initiative, Salamander Hotels & Resorts, U.S. Travel Association and Destination DC. The decision to host the E3 Leadership Conclave in DC and partnering with a Black-owned luxury hotel brand was intentional. In addition to workshops around leadership, organizational development, fundraising and advocacy, it will convene meetings with the federal agencies, U.S. Travel Association and other national travel and tourism organizations with Black industry leaders.

Tori Emerson Barnes

"Travel will only grow and thrive when all voices are at the table, developing solutions through diverse perspectives that lead to positive change," said Tori Emerson Barnes, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs and Policy, U.S. Travel Association. "U.S. Travel is proud to support the E3 Leadership Conclave and the work of Future of Black Tourism."


Sheila C. Johnson

Under the ownership and leadership of Founder and CEO Sheila C. Johnson, the newly branded Salamander Washington DC is the appropriate location for convening the inaugural gathering with anticipation of future meetings to be held at other properties within the growing Salamander portfolio. "Salamander's inclusive style of luxury is becoming a defining approach to hospitality, and we look forward to welcoming the E3 Leadership Conclave to the latest property in our collection," said Johnson.

Stephanie M. Jones

"It is important and necessary for underrepresented groups such as Blacks in travel and tourism to become organized under a unified mission working collaboratively to establish a collective voice to ensure broader representation in support of equitable industry opportunities, public policy and federal funding to support economic development and sustainability for Black businesses and organizations," says Stephanie M. Jones, Founder & CEO, Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance/Blacks in Travel & Tourism.


Naledi K. Khano

Jones is joined in her efforts by founding FOBT leadership council members Naledi K. Khabo, CEO of Africa Tourism Association and co-founder of The Collective and Martinique Lewis, Co-Founder, Black Travel Alliance, and Founder of the ABC Travel Green Book app.

"This level of collaboration among Black leaders in the global travel and tourism industry is unprecedented. The Africa Tourism Association looks forward to identifying Black industry leaders from the Africa continent to join, contribute to, and benefit from the efforts of Future of Black Tourism," says Naledi K. Khabo.

Martinique Lewis

"Future of Black Tourism is the vehicle required to achieve success for Black travel and tourism professionals to meet, exchange ideas, set goals for implementing change, and creating access to resources and training to prepare and position the next generation of industry leaders," says Martinique Lewis.

As the industry moves through post-Covid recovery, engagement with the Blacks in travel and tourism community and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives must be sustained and advanced. A key priority for FOBT will be to ensure representation to advance Black organizations, businesses, and professionals by creating equitable and accessible opportunities on a federal level.

Elliott L. Ferguson, II

"Washington, DC is where change is made, and people come to have their voices heard. As we continue to focus on providing opportunities for Black professionals and businesses, Washington, DC presents an excellent opportunity to connect with policy makers and the leading organizations representing U.S. travel and tourism. The city is honored to host the E3 Leadership Conclave and Destination DC is committed to working with the Future of Black Tourism initiative to ensure a successful event," saidElliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, Destination DC.

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