Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: January/February 2016
Publisher's Message
By: Solomon J. Herbert

As the new year unfolds and the presidential election cycle revs up to a near fever pitch, I wanted to spread the word that Black Meetings & Tourism is honoring our current president Barack Obama for the outstanding support he has given the travel industry during his first seven years in office.  Toward this end, BM&T will recognize President Obama at it's first BM&T Championship Awards luncheon to be held in Washington, DC in September while the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference is in session.

In my view, President Obama has done more to encourage and advance programs that support the travel/tourism industry than any other president before him.  In 2012 President Obama signed an Executive Order and announced new initiatives to significantly increase travel and tourism to and within the United States.  That announcement called for a national strategy to make the United States theworld's top travel and tourism destination, as a part of our government's effort to spur job creation.

BM&T has partnered with members of the National Policy Alliance (NPA) to identify Black elected officials who have championed the cause of travel and tourism in both the international and domestic arenas.  The NPA is composed of 13 organizations, including the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), Blacks in Government (BIG), National Bar Association (NBA), National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), National Black Caucus of State Legislators Foundation (NBCSLF), National Association of Black County Officials (NABCO), National Organization of Black County Officials, Inc. (NOBCO), National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM), National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBCOLEO), National Black Caucus of School Board Members (NBC),  and World Conference of Mayors (WCM).  Black Meetings & Tourism is the official travel publication of the NPA.

BM&T proposed that President Obama receive the Championship Award while attending an NPA leadership meeting in Washington, DC last year.  President Obama will not be the only one receiving an award this September.  He is one of several elected officials to be honored at the First Annual BM&T Championship Awards event.  Black Meetings & Tourism, in concert with the National Policy Alliance, will soon be announcing the nomination process.  If you know of an elected official you feel deserves recognition for their support of travel and tourism, please contact our office.  If you or your company are interested in participating as sponsors for the Championship Awards, we look forward to hearing from you.  And of course, if you would like to attend the BM&T Championship Awards program in person, please give us a call.   More information about all of the above will be made available shortly..

Solomon J. Herbert