The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (CVB) President & CEO, Dan Lincoln, will appear and speak as part of the inaugural ‘State of Black Tourism,’ hosted by The National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP) on September 17. The panel will take place at the Carnegie Library in Washington D.C. during the annual Congressional Black Caucus events. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the panel discussion will start at 10:00 a.m.

At the inaugural ‘State of Black Tourism,’ leading professionals from the travel and tourism industry will discuss the economic power of the African American community, the correlation between African American tourism and economic development, and the potential of partnerships between organizations and destinations to maximize buying power. Ana Aponte-Curtis, Chairperson for the NCBMP, will begin the event with a ‘State of Black Tourism’ address, emphasizing the importance of African American organizations and professionals in travel and tourism and addressing racial disparities still present in the industry.

The speaker’s panel will be moderated by Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Ed Gordon, and will feature prominent industry executives including: Jesse Tyson, President of the National Black MBA Association; Valencia Bembry, Sr. Vice President of Accreditation and Strategic Initiatives, Destination Marketing Association International; Hon. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of the City of Baltimore; and Denise Rolark Barnes, Chair of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Lincoln will be the only CVB leader on the panel of national industry leaders, sharing Cincinnati’s experience as a leading destination for multicultural meetings.

“African American travel and tourism is a $40 billion dollar industry market in the United States, and the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau has made attracting multicultural meetings and events a top priority for the past decade,” said Lincoln. “It’s an honor to join this influential panel and share Cincinnati’s experiences in attracting and hosting African American meetings, especially our unique approach of building public-private partnerships to best serve our multicultural convention groups.”

According to Black Meetings & Tourism, the Cincinnati USA CVB has now hosted or booked 15 of the top 25 multicultural conventions in the country. In 2014, Cincinnati hosted both the National Urban League Annual Convention—which brought more than 8,500 attendees and Vice President Joe Biden to the region— and the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners Annual Conference, which met in Cincinnati for the first time in the organization’s history.

In 2016, Cincinnati will host the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Annual Convention, which is expected to draw nearly 10,000 attendees, bringing an economic impact of more than $2.2 million to the region. Taking place during a presidential election year, the 2016 Annual Convention is expected to attract presidential candidates—as well as other national political, civic, religious and business leaders—to Cincinnati.

“With so many prominent national meeting planners, media, tourism executives, and politicians attending the State of Black Tourism, we are honored to have this opportunity to showcase Cincinnati as a leading national destination for multicultural meetings,” said Lincoln. “Cincinnati’s work over the past 10 years is a prime example of how a focus on high-profile African American and multicultural meetings can pave the way for a community’s own diversity and economic development, and create a foundation for future international events.”

Jason Dunn, Director of Multicultural Affairs for the Cincinnati USA CVB, currently serves on the NCBMP Board of Directors. As one of only two Convention & Visitors Bureau executives on the NCBMP Board and Co-Chair of the State of Black Tourism, Dunn has played a key role in orchestrating the event.

More information on The State of Black Tourism event.