AATC Conference attendees, by David L. Malhalab, MNS/M News Service
Group Travel Leader
Published May 01, 2014
SALEM, Ohio — The readers of this publication understand that every once in a while, a tour they plan serves up a curveball. Unexpected changes happen in itineraries that are the fault of no one and that just can’t be avoided.
The 250-plus delegates of the African American Travel Conference (AATC) experienced just that sort of surprise when its host hotel experienced a labor dispute just two days before opening ceremonies. However, as would be true with a good travel planner, the show went on and with great success.
With delegates en route, host property representatives at Caesars Windsor huddled with AATC staff, and they agreed that with a possible hotel closure in the conference midstream, it would be best to relocate. This meant not just sleeping rooms, but also marketplace space and meal function rooms.
This is the kind of situation where a great host city can come to the rescue, and Tourism Windsor-Essex and Pelle Island rode in.
“Between Caesars and Tourism Windsor, the possibility of a disaster became a minor bump in the road,” said Teresa Burton of AATC. “Caesars and Tourism Windsor put a plan in place that allowed the African American Travel Conference to operate on schedule with all delegates housed at one property and even upped the ante with a complimentary dine-around feature.”
Most delegates commented that if they had not been told of the meeting’s relocation, they would not have noticed any difference. To be sure of having a space large enough to accommodate a marketplace floor, Tourism Windsor secured the arena at the Windsor Credit Union Centre. It was a stroke of genius, and few delegates knew that beneath their feet on the marketplace floor was a fully working and frozen ice hockey rink.
“Our delegates were impressed with the dedication of Caesars and Tourism Windsor-Essex and Pelle Island, and said that they would return with tour groups just because of the impressive effort,” Burton said.