Two minority travel agents in Denver, Colorado organized the Travel Professionals of Color Conference & Trade Show in August 2002.
The first Conference took place May 14 -18, 2003 in Denver and was a great success. It was so well received by travel agents and suppliers, founders Charlotte Haymore and Betty Jones decided to take the conference to the next level. Thus, they formally established Travel Professionals of Color (TPOC) as a Limited Liability Corporation, Travel Professionals of Color, LLC. The intent was to sponsor conferences and other positive programs for minority travel agents with a focus on profitability and raising awareness within the travel community regarding professional services available from capable minority travel agents.
The vision of TPOC is to support, assist and spotlight travel industry professionals, destinations and multi-cultural tourism of four ethnic groups: African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Native Americans.
In addition to the focus on marketing, seminars and workshops the Association helps minority travel agents become more profitable and knowledgeable about the leisure travel business, the travel products available to sell to the traveling public and multi-cultural and heritage tourism. The Association enhanced its’ program as it evolved. The conference grew by creating elements to further address Multi-Cultural and Heritage Tourism. In 2007 the Association offered the first Heritage Tourism Specialist Program through which agents could be certified. Simultaneously, the Association increased initiatives to create awareness throughout communities that minority travel agents exist, are professional business people and both want and deserve business from the general public.
Many years later the Association continues to grow; lead travel industry efforts to bring awareness to Multi-Cultural Tourism; promote and develop minority travel agents that bring excellence to their profession; highlight and partner with travel industry suppliers, tourism offices, convention and visitors bureaus and destinations interested in generating more business from the flourishing minority market.
CURRENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Betty Jones, President
Beverly Bentley, Treasurer
Gladys Smith, Secretary
Additional information is available at www.tpocassociation.com.