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Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB)
Statement on Racial Injustice

The GMCVB shares in the grief our nation and local community is experiencing following the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, and countless others. We stand with the Black community and will do our part to speak out against the oppression and discrimination faced by Black people.

The GMCVB understands that combating systemic racism and confronting racial injustice begins with internal reflection. To that end, we’ve taken time to listen to our employees, business partners, and larger community. We commit to addressing inequality and promoting our global destination with intentional diversity in mind.

Here's How:

Ongoing Initiatives:

  • Black Hospitality Initiative (BHI): Established in 1991 by the GMCVB, the mission of the BHI is to advance economic participation of Black Americans in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry through educational scholarships. BHI has awarded more than 450 scholarships and raised more than $3.5 million in scholarship funds and in-kind services.
  • Hospitality Open Golf Tournament (H.O.T. Challenge): Annual golfing event organized by the GMCVB to raise funds for the Black Hospitality Initiative.
  • Destination Miami Town Halls held In our Heritage Neighborhoods: During the development of our 5-Year Strategic Plan, we conducted Town Hall Meetings to gather ideas from various communities including Miami Gardens, Historic Overtown, North Miami, and South-Dade.
  • Multicultural Tourism & Development Department (MTDD): Created in 2015 as a new department within the GMCVB, MTDD’s mission is to promote the diversity of Miami’s multicultural communities, attractions, and events. We focus efforts locally to build consistency and economic sustainability while broadening the scope of initiatives and maximizing marketing opportunities to target national and global audiences. Many of the programs facilitated by this department are directly related and created to support business partnerships, cultural organizations, and tourist attractions in our Black communities and neighborhoods.

Some key programs include:

  • Tourism Business Enhancement (TBE): Launched in 2016, TBE focuses on creating sustainable businesses in Miami’s heritage neighborhoods (including Historic Overtown, Little Haiti, Coconut Grove, Miami Gardens, North Miami, areas in South Dade and more) by providing workshops, consulting, and business resources.
  • Art of Black Miami (AOB Miami): Launched in 2013, AOB Miami is a GMCVB marketing program created to elevate art, artists, and galleries that highlight and celebrate the African Diaspora throughout Miami-Dade.
  • Multicultural Marketing: Identify and implement promotional opportunities through print and digital that target art/culture seekers and travel enthusiasts of the African American/Black travel market segment. These year-round, international marketing campaigns are developed in partnership with our global brand agency.
  • Conventions & Travel Industry: Each of these GMCVB sales departments have dedicated staffing and outreach to encourage black centric conventions and foster travel/trade relations through one on one outreach and travel familiarization to Miami. We promote Miami to meeting planners in the African American travel market as well as to agencies the Caribbean, Brazil and Latin American markets. Future conventions booked in Miami as a result of these sales efforts include:
    • Black Enterprise – October 2020
    • National Association of Black Hotel & Owners, Operators & Developers – Fall 2020
    • Sizzle Miami – September 2020
    • Sweet Heat Miami – October 2020
    • Iota Phi Lambda – March 2021
    • Travel Professionals of Color – May 2021
    • The American Black Film Festival – June 2021
    • Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith – July 2021
    • Association of African American Museums – August 2021
    • Tennessee State University Alumni National Convention - June 2022
    • National Society of Black Engineers – August 2022
  • GMCVB-Wide Program Development: All departments of the GMCVB have programming that helps to promote the diversity of Miami. In addition to the multicultural market overall, the MTDD also collaborates with GMCVB departments to support programs specifically for the Black travel audience. Departments include Advertising & Digital Marketing, Research & Business Intelligence, Communications, Content & Creative Services, Convention Sales & Services, Cultural Tourism, LGBTQ Marketing, Partnership & Business Development, Sports & Entertainment Tourism, Travel Industry Sales & Marketing, etc.
  • Events: Annual collaborations featuring events of all sizes geared towards predominantly Black audiences past, present and future including: Best of the Best Reggae Music Festival, Overtown Music Fest, Miami Smooth Jazz Festival, Revolt Music Festival, Miami Carnival, American Black Film Festival & ABFF Film Fam, Urban Film Festival, Orange Blossom Classic, Haitian Compas Festival, Superfest Miami, Jazz in the Gardens, etc.

Future Initiatives:

  • Miami Shines Recovery Campaign: The GMCVB will create a special focus on Black owned and operated businesses as part of the Miami Shines tourism recovery campaign. This initiative will promote and encourage visitors to support Black business owners by showcasing Miami’s Black hotels, restaurants, and cultural offerings. In addition, the GMCVB will leverage advertising dollars and public relations efforts to promote Black owned businesses via digital and social platforms as part of the community’s recovery efforts.
  • 2020 Virtual Partner Marketing Workshop: The Virtual Partner Marketing Workshop takes place annually and this year’s event will include a session spearheaded by the Multicultural Tourism & Development Department focusing on Art of Black Miami and other elements of discussion around the tourism development of Miami’s Black neighborhoods.
  • New Internal Diversity Taskforce: “Let’s Talk” is a group formed by the GMCVB as a way to help promote and create cultural competency within our organization. Internal programs for all staff will take place throughout the year to support this effort.
  • Upcoming Events & Collaborations: GMCVB partnerships, workshops, and events scheduled to take place June 2020 - August 2020:
    • Throughout June: Marketing partnership with MIA Legacy Magazine showcasing Black-owned restaurants in Miami-Dade County
    • June 18th: Art of Black Miami Virtual Conversation: Re-Imagining the Way Forward - Collective Ideas around Arts & Culture
    • June 19th (Juneteenth): Partnering with Miami Urban Contemporary Experience (MUCE) on Say Their Name Vigil in memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
    • June 25th: VP of Multicultural Tourism & Development to participate on a Zoom panel entitled The Economics of Black Travel & Tourism Ecosystem hosted by Blacks In Travel & Tourism
    • Starting June 28th: Partnering with MUCE for a Supper Club series which will bring together people from various backgrounds and beliefs for an evening of food, drink, and guided conversation, creating space for a unified call to action that promotes social equity, confronts social injustice, and eradicates racism.
    • July 1st: GMCVB to host a Zoom conversation of Hope and Inspiration with Liberty City-born motivational speaker and author Les Brown and his daughter Ona Brown.
    • August 1st: In honor of the 75th anniversary of the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, the GMCVB will co-sponsor a virtual Zoom Film Exhibition & Cocktail reception and fundraiser.

And this is just a start.

Our destination would not be the place it is today without the influence and perseverance of our Black community. Every day we honor and celebrate the many diverse cultures that make up the fabric of Greater Miami and the Beaches because diversity truly is our greatest strength. We know that travel and tourism serve as powerful ways to showcase our communities to visitors and actively help bridge the gap between people of different ethnicities and all walks of life.

We hope our nation begins a path of healing that involves stepping out of our personal comfort zones in order to truly listen and learn from these tragedies, from the Black community and from each other. We stand by all our residents and partners and appeal to everyone for greater understanding, humanity, and compassion.

RESOURCES TO SUPPORT MIAMI’S BLACK COMMUNITY