|Bill Marriott toasts the grand opening of the new Black-owned Marriott Marquis convention-center hotel in Washington with D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray.|
The hotel and travel industry is a huge business in the U.S., generating billions of dollars. African Americans alone spend $40 billion a year for business conferences, weddings, vacations and other events, yet very little of that spending comes back into the African American business community. Two groups have recently stepped forward to change all that.
Two organizations determined to change things
The U.S. Black Chambers (USBC) and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD) have agreed to work together to raise awareness of the importance of patronizing black-owned businesses. Striving to do more business with black-owned hotels will result in increasing jobs and cultivating more black executives and owners within the same industry where they are spending billions every year.
According to NABHOOD, there are more than 500 black-owned hotels and hospitality venues in the United States, and nine in the Caribbean, Ghana and Liberia. A conscious effort to be aware of these black-owned businesses and tap into their resources is an important step in increasing business with this segment and bringing more dollars back into the black community.
The Marriott example
Marriott hotels has been named one of Black Enterprise’s top 40 companies for diversity for eight straight years. They are setting an example by reaching out to the black community by maintaining close relationships with black organizations such as NAACP, National Urban League and others. Marriott has 500 minority-owned or franchised hotels. According to NABHOOD treasurer Norman Jenkins, ownership represents black economic power. USBC President Ron Busby Jr. agrees: "...we know black business is the key to the unemployment that is wreaking havoc on our communities.”
For more information and/or to search Black-owned hospitality venues, visit www.nabhood.net