Posted at 10:31 AM
Created on July 23, 2014
On Friday July 18th, National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo spoke at the International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show at the invitation of National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD). As director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) – the only federal agency tasked with building the size, scale, and capacity of minority businesses – Castillo was able to offer particular insight into the theme of this year’s conference, which was the “Business of Multicultural & Heritage Tourism.” Castillo highlighted the strong alignment of interests between MBDA and the success of minority-owned businesses in the tourism industry.
She also indicated how MBDA, through its resources, can offer particular support to this business community by working to increase their access to capital financing. In addition, the conference was a learning opportunity for MBDA as it allowed Castillo and her staff to learn more about this $90 billion market sector, and the particular challenges minority-owned businesses face working in this industry.
With the creation of the National Travel and Tourism Strategy two years ago, the U.S. has seen an increase in international tourism and is on track to meet its goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors in 2021 with 70 million travelers in the last year. Growth in the tourism industry has increased earnings and also created approximately 175,000 American jobs in the past five years. Going forward, Castillo and MBDA are excited to continue working with NABHOOD in order to connect minority-owned businesses in the tourism industry with our national network of MBDA Business Centers. By doing so, MBDA will be able to help these firms navigate federal policies on national security, transportation, and trade that affect this tourism industry and link them with capital to ensure their success in this dynamic market sector.