BALTIMORE - Close to 200 group leaders will travel to Baltimore for the 13th annual African American Travel Conference — a record number. Running from April 18-20, the conference will bring together African-American travel groups and travel industry members for two Marketplaces, sightseeing tours and other evening events.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Joe Cappuzzello. “There is about a one-to-one ratio of industry members to group leaders coming, so there will be plenty of appointments for everyone. We are also having two great evening events that I think people are going to really enjoy.”
Opening night, delegates will dine and explore the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture. The museum highlights some of Maryland’s most influential African-Americans through permanent exhibits, including exhibits on Reginald Lewis, the first African-American to build a billion-dollar company, Beatrice Foods. Visit Baltimore and the State of Maryland will host this event.
One surprise that guests can expect is a wax figure of a prominent figure at the second evening event in the B&O Railroad Museum, which houses railroad artifacts and one of the largest collections of 19th-century locomotives in the country. The museum marks the spot of the old Mount Clare Station, which ran the first regular railroad passenger service in America starting in 1830.
“There are other little secret events planned for the night, including a multicultural-themed entertainment,” said Eric Masterton-Mott, director of group tour sales for Visit Baltimore. “I can’t say too much, but I can say that there will be good food, great entertainment and fun people.”
To prepare for the 2014 AATC in Winsor, Canada, Windsor’s sales staff will be presenting a seminar on passports. The seminar will teach group leaders about the passport process and what is needed for their members to travel to Canada.
Other highlights from Baltimore will be featured during the three-hour sightseeing tours of the city on April 19. Three tours will be assigned to the delegates, including tour about Baltimore’s connection to jazz, the War of 1812 and the Civil War sesquicentennial.
For more information about the conference, visit www.aatconline.com.