Most people the world over think of the United States as a multicultural melting pot. We are still quintessentially American, but from north to south and east to west, our cities and outlying communities are dotted with districts defined by residents’ ethnicity and culture.
Today, the more developed and culturally defined areas are attracting visitors in search of new experiences and information.
Cities with Chinatowns, Latino barrios, Indian American corridors and African American neighborhoods are seeing a surge in national and international travelers eager to either connect with their roots or satisfy their curiosity.
Many ethnically diverse communities, as well as business and social organizations, are rising up to abet the travel trend, which many experts say is only going to grow stronger as more and more travelers seek unique and memorable experiences.
Multicultural or heritage tourism is good for the hospitality industry and it is also beneficial to a city’s economic growth. One study we’ll talk about says the more diverse a city, the stronger its economy.
In today’s episode, Lodging Leaders examines how hotels and other hospitality businesses can capture a generous piece of this tourism trend.
We talk to Connie Kinnard, vice president of multicultural tourism development for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau; Greg DeShields, executive director of PHL Diversity in Philadelphia; and Michael Fullerton, senior director of public policy and public affairs for Brand USA.
Resources and Links
Ginny Morrison of Evanston, Illinois, is a 33-year veteran of Spire Hospitality, a hotel management company with a portfolio that spans coast-to-coast. As vice president of sales and marketing, Morrison saw the coronavirus pandemic decimate the meetings business. More than a year later, she’s witnessing a comeback as small-meeting planners are actively booking events for the last half of 2021 and beyond. As public health agencies expand COVID-19 vaccination programs across the U.S. and states ease up on public-gathering restrictions designed to keep the virus at bay, the hotel industry is seeing small meetings begin a comeback. In Episode 317, Long Live Lodging covers the state of the small-meetings sector and how hotels can grab their share of the meetings business during and post-pandemic. This report is part of our ongoing coverage about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the hospitality industry.
The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference will be the industry’s first large event to be held during the coronavirus pandemic. The Atlanta event will be a hybrid format of in-person and virtual access, also an industry first. Lee Hunter, chairman of the conference, knows the level of expectation is high among other conference planners as well as industry professionals eager to network after more than a yearlong hiatus. Episode 316 of Lodging Leaders podcast features Hunter as he tells what it takes to re-launch the industry’s conference circuit amid the COVID-19 outbreak.