National Cultural Heritage Initiative
The NATIONAL CULTURAL HERITAGE INITIATIVE was established by the National Black Chamber of Commerce to act as a catalyst for the marketing of the Culture and Heritage of Americans of African Descent, using tourism as a deliverable platform. The National Cultural Heritage Initiative was developed in concert with the Florida Black Chamber of Commerce.
Florida was chosen for initial development because of the state’s ‘Multi-Cultural and Ethnic Diversity’. Florida’s population has a rich cultural mixture of residents with diverse African Heritage, composed of multiple national and ethnic backgrounds. Florida truly represents the ‘World’ in its makeup and history. The state is not just Old South, Beaches, and Theme Parks, but has a population that are European, Latin American, Hispanic, Caribbean, African, and Asian ancestry and culture. All are “Proud Americans”. Americans with one common bond, an appreciation of their individual heritages and cultures, intertwined with an appreciation for the international influence and with a flavor that is unique, but - Afro-Centric in its appearance. The uniqueness has proven to be a major contributor and economic bonus to the state’s tourism industry; and has allowed Florida to become one of the top tourism destinations in the world by the successful marketing of its cultural diversity, to include the diverse Afro-Centric cultures as a part of its rich history.
Unfortunately, still too little is known about American Black Heritage and Culture. Although, several cities and states, including the States of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Louisiana, have endeavored to correct this oversight, by publishing and marketing several critically acclaimed publications, including the Florida Black Heritage Trail publication. But there has never been an organized attempt to market and showcase the African American and Black Culture as a platform to the world, most importantly to the Global Black Diaspora. The National Black Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Black Chamber of Commerce saw the need and the necessity to provide the answer to the age-old cultural question of Black travelers to unknown cities, “Where are the Black Folks?” The Florida State Black Tourism Center was developed as an affiliate of the Florida Black Chamber of Commerce to test the concept. The intent being to develop a platform and products to market nationally and internationally the African American Culture and its Heritage for the benefit and service to the Americans and the Black Diaspora.
Description of Community Based Tourism-
Cultural Community Based Tourism appeals to adventurous people with a passion for learning about local cultures and traditional ways of life. From a community development strategy, cultural community based tourism uses tourism management as a tool to strengthen and preserve communities with significant historical assets that may be of interest to tourist.
We will support and promote Cultural Community Based Tourism projects and programs that demonstrate the following:
- Promote and support the development of the minority business community.
- Support the concept of Cultural Community Based Tourism for minorities.
- Be “Diversity-Friendly”.
- Promote preservation of the culture, heritage and the social need of a community.
- Increase the cultural and historical awareness of tourist by striving to be a tourism destination, showcasing as a minimum; traditional arts, foods, annid music.
- Directly involves the community - providing both social and economic benefits.
-- Be market driven, with the ultimate goal of satisfying visitors’ expectations. Aim should be to educate, train develop, encourage and utilize any skills and human potential within the community, towards the delivery of professional service.
- The programs/projects should be operated within a business structure that adheres to government regulations, financial obligations, good labor relations and sound management systems.
- Members of the community are expected to exhibit friendliness, honesty and professionalism amongst themselves as well as in their dealings with the visitor to ensure the integrity of the project.
The National Community-Based Tourism Model
"The Call: Join the movement."