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Inaugural Summit Calls for Travel Industry Transformation

Conference Expected to Draw Hundreds of Global Industry Professionals to Envision a Collaborative, Cross-Sectoral and Inclusive Future

RICHMOND, VA (September 7, 2023) – Tourism Cares, Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance, Inc., the Travel Foundation and the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Marketing Council are pleased to announce the launch of the Power of Partnership Stewardship Summit (POPS). Taking place in Richmond, Virginia, October 15-18, 2023, the conference is dedicated to exploring the intersections of culture, climate, and community in travel and tourism. Hinged upon cross-sector innovations and participation from global industry professionals, including tour operators, travel advisors, and DMOs, the four-day event will connect and engage in critical discussions to envision a collaborative and inclusive future.

“As travel and tourism continue to take shape post-pandemic, there’s a need to radically change how the industry manages its stewardship of destinations and better engage the residents who live there,” said Stephanie M. Jones, Founder & CEO, Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance, Inc., and Blacks in Travel & Tourism. “The primary goal of POPS is to generate action and partnerships, calling for industry transformation.”

Presented in partnership with Allianz Partners, Delta Air Lines and Expedia Group, the Summit program will feature expert speakers discussing topics and trends shaping the tourism space. Highlights for this year’s conference sessions include:

  • Driving Economic Development to Underrepresented Communities through Cultural Tourism: Explore the critical importance of cultural heritage assets and experiences in destinations, communities and their neighborhoods – and how they stimulate economic growth, empower local communities and foster sustainable tourism.
  • Future of Tourism Town Hall: Global Brands’ Commitment to Sustaining DEI & ESG: Hear from industry brands that have been intentional and successful in their efforts to develop internal DEI and ESG programs and strategies.
  • Future of Tourism Town Hall: Destination 2030: How Tourism Must Adapt to Thrive: Leading experts in climate justice, resident engagement, corporate level climate action and local level urban farming will touch on scenarios for halving emissions, the risks ahead and tourism’s role in addressing climate change.
  • Developing Messaging for Marketing Climate, Culture & Community for a Destination Stewardship Plan: Master best practices implemented by destinations and brands for effectively incorporating climate change, cultural heritage and local communities into a marketing strategy through messaging and storytelling.

For additional details, view the complete conference program here.

Experience Day: Community Centered Activities
In line with the conference’s mission to foster a deeper connection with the host destination, on Wednesday, October 18, attendees will have the opportunity to venture off-site and explore the Richmond area by experiencing the vibrant culture, various neighborhoods and changemakers through impact tours and volunteer activities. Experience Day happenings range from the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, where guests will learn about the moving histories of African-American people, to a tour of the Mending Walls, a collaborative, community-engaged art installation that aims to advance social justice.

“The Summit’s Experience Day creates an opportunity to bring a diverse group of industry stakeholders together to participate in meaningful travel experiences, connecting guests with the city of Richmond in a deeper way,” said Greg Takehara, CEO, Tourism Cares. “By stepping outside the conference walls and connecting with local changemakers, our goal is that participants will engage with these organizations and integrate them into future travel experiences.”

POPS Registration is Now Open
Connect with those in the travel, tourism, cultural heritage and climate communities at the Richmond Marriott, October 15-18, 2023 by registering today. The deadline to register is September 15, 2023.

To learn more about the Power of Partnership Stewardship Summit, visit

Special thanks to Power of Partnership Stewardship Summit Sponsors: Allianz Partners, Delta Air Lines, Expedia Group, Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Intrepid Travel, TripMate, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Richmond Region Tourism, Hostelling International, Miles Partnership, National Tour Association, Brand USA, ACCOR, Visit South Africa and Discover Los Angeles.

About the Power of Partnership Stewardship Summit

In 2023, The Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance, Inc., Tourism Cares, The Travel Foundation, and the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Marketing Council will launch the Power of Partnership Stewardship Summit, a program dedicated to exploring the intersections of culture, climate, and community in travel and tourism. The Summit will convene global industry professionals including suppliers, buyers and media – to connect and engage in critical discussions to envision a collaborative and inclusive future for travel and tourism, knowing that our future hinges upon cross-sector innovations and partnerships. For more information, visit

About Tourism Cares

Tourism Cares, Inc., a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that advances the travel industry’s positive impact to help people and places thrive. We believe it’s in all our best interest to support the destinations our industry depends on so that communities, travelers, and businesses can prosper. We mobilize the entire industry to use its business as a force for good by uniting, activating, and inspiring all sectors to make a positive impact through travel. Learn more at and @TourismCares.

About The Travel Foundation

The Travel Foundation is a leading global NGO that works in partnership with governments, businesses, and communities to develop and manage tourism in a way that maximizes the benefits for communities and the environment. Founded in 2003, it has since worked in over 30 countries around the world. Learn more at

About the U.S. Cultural + Heritage Marketing Council

The U.S. Cultural & Heritage Marketing Council represents the intersections of global tourism through arts, culture, and community. We collaborate with business districts, civic organizations, destinations, cultural experiences, and non-profits to provide balanced perspectives to sustainable tourism development.  USCHMC works with diverse industry sectors to bolster thought leadership, strategic marketing, business insights, and scalable tourism engagement. Learn more at