Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: March/April 2010
The Jacksonville, Florida Area Hospitality Industry 2009 NAACP Economic Reciprocity Initiative Report Card

This Report Card Grade Provides a General Overview of the Jacksonville Area Hospitality Industry. As part of the Jacksonville Branch NAACP’s Economic Reciprocity Initiative, a hospitality industry survey was mailed to 70 hotels and convention facilities in the Jacksonville area, September 17, 2009. Similar survey were sent to the Jacksonville area hospitality industry by the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. in 2003, and the Jacksonville Branch NAACP in 2004 and 2006. Ten percent of those surveyed [in 2009] responded, which is approximately the same response received from previous surveys. Neither the JCCI nor the NAACP’s surveys received the needed support from the Jacksonville Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Jacksonville) and the Jacksonville Hotel Motel Association. The Jacksonville Restaurant association was not included in this survey.

The survey attempted to gauge the local hospitality industry’s employment practices for African-Americans and other minorities in executive policy making positions. The survey also asked the industry to identify African-Americans and other minority vendors, including advertising and marketing companies with whom they do business on a regular basis. The Jacksonville Branch NAACP is rating the Jacksonville Hospitality Industry with a grade of D because of the lack of African-Americans and other minorities in management positions, and the lack of African-American and minority advertising and marketing vendors. A lack of response to our survey from the hospitality industry confirmed our grade.

The hospitality industry was chosen because it is Florida’s number one industry, generating nearly 60 billion dollars per year to the state’s economy…while employing almost one million people…and accounting for 20 percent of the state’s revenues. The purpose of the survey was simple; Are the local industries, that Jacksonville’s African-American Community support with their 5 billion dollar buying power, equal opportunity employers? Are African-Americans receiving a reasonable return on their investment from the industries they support with their hard earned dollars? Economic Reciprocity Initiatives are local, as well as national issues. We believe that the local hospitality industry should make a greater effort to hire African-Americans, and contract with African-Americans and minority vendors, when acquiring staff, goods and services. Contracts with African-American vendors should also include advertising and marketing. To accomplish this goal the NAACP Jacksonville Branch will continue to focus on the hiring and recruitment, marketing, and communications practices within each Jacksonville area industry involved in the NAACP’s Economic Reciprocity Initiative.

The Jacksonville Branch NAACP will continue to monitor the Jacksonville area hospitality industry, as well as other industries, for progress and advancements. Consumers and organizations are encouraged to utilize this report card grade in making decisions about where to spend and invest their dollars in the continually changing market of hotel and convention facilities. Economic Development is a civil rights issue too,” said Julia bond, former NAACP Board chairman. More information is available on the NAACP website, under ERI Economic Empowerment Initiative.