By Mac Lacy
Kate Scopetti of Mid-Atlantic Receptive Services is a receptive operator who is already involved in packaging civil rights sites like those in Birmingham and other cities, including the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. She sees a strong market for this theme in 2013 and beyond.
“We’ve been running trips related to civil rights sites for several years,” said Scopetti, whose company is based in Stephens City, Va. “There is a lot of interest in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore right now, due to the new memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and several significant sites in Baltimore.
“We’re planning to do a yearlong series of trips into the South, including Birmingham and other cities like Selma, Montgomery and Memphis.
“Based on what is happening in those cities, we will customize the departures to take advantage of special events that may be going on. We think we can get a lot of interest from our customers who have done Washington to come to Alabama and the South in 2013.
“In Birmingham, we’ll do the church, the Civil Rights Institute and Kelly Ingram Park. We’ll use food and music to balance it out — there are great restaurants in Birmingham and their Jazz Hall of Fame is wonderful.
“In Selma, the civil rights trail is very good. The Voting Rights Museum is small, but very captivating. Once you’ve seen it, a walk across the bridge is very moving.
“I expect this to sell well to African-Americans and other travelers as well, especially those who are highly educated, boomers, alumni groups, etc.”