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Last year, Miami-Dade attracted more than 10.5 million visitors, including 4.8 million from Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Canada, according to the GMCVB.
The GMCVB and 100+ area hospitality-related businesses donated packages to be auctioned on the GMCVB Web site.
"As Wisconsin's second largest industry, area tourism and hospitality partners play critical roles in our community and greatly contribute to the economic vitality of our area and assisting those in need," GMCVB President & CEO Deb Archer asserts
According to Mayco Villafana, GMCVB director of communications, the bureau diligently worked behind the scenes from June to December 1990 to end the boycott by bringing together the various parties that could resolve some of the demands.
Failing to serve as a mediator among groups involved in the boycott situation, Villafana says GMCVB officials decided it would concentrate its efforts on dispelling the notion that the city's tourism community was discriminatory.
Working with the Miami-based Florida International University, GMCVB discovered that the university's highly regarded School of Hospitality & Management enrollment was less than 5 percent African American.
GMCVB asks that students make a moral commitment to work two years locally in return.
GMCVB also formed the Visitor Industry Human Resource Development Council, a nonprofit corporation charged with developing long-range programs aimed at increasing the economic participation of African Americans in the Miami hospitality industry.
"We moved rather quickly to address the issues we felt we could have some influence over," says Villafana of the numerous programs that GMCVB initiated in less than one year.
Despite the ongoing boycott, Villafana says that GMCVB's efforts have helped ease the tension and prompted hope of a real solution to the root problems.
"As more minorities gain political clout in American cities and demand a fair share of the economic pie, CVBs must be prepared to deal with new issues that never before affected their operations," says Merrett Stierheim, GMCVB's president and chief executive officer.
In the storm's wake, GMCVB quickly put its housing bureau department into action helping the community and serving convention groups that found themselves uninformed of their event status or possibly displaced by the wave of relief workers and suddenly homeless people.
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