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October 2, 2015


African Immigrants have the highest educational attainment rates of any immigrant group in the United States with higher levels of completion than the stereotyped Asian American model minority. It is not only the first generation that does well, as estimates indicate that a highly disproportionate percentage of black students at elite universities are African or the children of African immigrants.
In an an**ysis of Census Bureau data by the Journal of Blacks in higher education, African immigrants to the United States were found more likely to be college educated than any other immigrant group. African immigrants to the U.S. are also more highly educated than any other native-born ethnic group including white Americans. Some 48.9 percent of all African immigrants hold a college diploma. This is slightly more than the percentage of Asian immigrants to the U.S., nearly double the rate of native-born white Americans, and nearly four times the rate of native-born African Americans.
In 1997, 19.4 percent of all adult African immigrants in the United States held a graduate degree, compared to 8.1 percent of adult whites and 3.8 percent of adult blacks in the United States, respectively. This information suggests that America has an equally large achievement gap between whites and African/Asian immigrants as it does between white and black Americans.
Of the African-born population in the United States age 25 and older, 86.4% reported having a high school degree or higher, compared with 78. 9% of Asian born immigrants and 76.5% of European born immigrants, respectively. These figures contrast with 61.8% percent of the total foreign-born population.



Developing South African wine ambassadors in the United States


“The interest is there in the market; customers just need a little more information to buy with confidence.”
Julia Berk
At the retailer where I work (the Premier Group, in western New York State) I’m the official South African wine advocate, having worked the 2010 harvest in Stellenbosch. None of the other wine associates have a specific background in South African wine, but they are always interested in the bottles I bring to tasting dinners and enjoy many of the wines we carry in the store. Likewise, my bosses are always interested in tasting South African wines and carried a substantial selection even before I began working at the store. Lately our selection has improved dramatically. What we need next is empowered customers — and that’s an area needing improvement in the U.S. market as a whole.
I’ve encountered, by and large, open-minded enthusiasm from my customers toward South African wine. I’m very involved in our Wine Education Center, which offers classes to the public on a variety of topics, and my first big project at Premier was a class entitled “Introduction to the Wines of South Africa.” It was booked to capacity well in advance. There was a clear interest in the topic, especially on the heels of the World Cup. On the sales floor, I’m always on lookout for opportunities to say, “how about a South African wine?” With few exceptions the response is receptive, and I even encounter people seeking out South African wine on a regular basis. The odd customer with a bias against South African wine is typically a snob with similar disregard for other “non-traditional” wine-producing regions and will only be happy with France, California or Italy. (I know, SA has been making wine longer than the USA. Don’t get me started.)
My point is that the interest is there in the market; customers just need a little more information to buy with confidence. Salespeople like me who have intimate familiarity with and passion for South Africa, who can put a bottle in someone’s hands and say, “I really love this wine and I think you will, too,” are helpful on our side – but producers and industry people on your side can help make the connection. Perhaps South African representatives are finding New York City rather disappointing? Try western New York — it’s a less crowded scene trend-wise and you’ll be dealing with outstanding retailers and sophisticated customers who aren’t just looking for what’s hot this minute. Classes and tastings led by South African industry professionals will do wonders for connecting with the wine-buying public. If I put the word out on Facebook and the web that a South African winemaker (or really, just a South African person, for that matter) was coming to give a presentation at the store, people would love it. Store staff, too, would greatly appreciate and benefit from a little more education which we can then pass on to customers.
Besides the personal connection, any chance for customers and salespeople to actually taste the wines is a good thing. After spending time in South Africa I realized that most of the best wines in the country were exported in tiny quantities or not at all, and a lot of what’s available in the US is, well, not as good. This is true of all imported wines to some extent, but unfortunately some imported South African wines are blatantly smoky and rubbery, and these wines don’t show well next to the fruit bomb shiraz and malbecs of the world. I taste every South African wine in our store and can steer customers in the right direction to make sure their first experience with South African wine is a good one. When they’re shopping on their own, chances are they’ll end up with something with an “exotic” label that may or may not be well made. Any negative impressions among retailers about South African wines (I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about Brett, as am I) are rooted in the poor examples that get sent here because South Africans probably wouldn’t drink them.
Customers need to be more familiar with specific styles and Wine of Origin appellations as well. If there is a way to make appellations such as Walker Bay, Swartland, etc. more prominent on the labels we can work on branding those regions the way South America has succeeded in branding its various appellations. Right now, the average customer doesn’t recognize the word Stellenbosch, let alone Elgin or Franschhoek. In terms of wine styles, my vote goes to chenin blanc, Rhone-style blends, sauvignon blanc, and Bordeaux blends as Most Likely to Succeed in this market, with Cape blends, chardonnay and shiraz/syrah a close second. I would love to see more merlot and malbec exported as I think they’d do very well here.
South Africa’s potential appeal as a wine-producing nation can’t be understated. Just the reactions to my little blog alone showed me how enchanting and captivating the country really is to Americans (myself firmly included!). Stunning scenery, a veritable playground of cultural diversity, a high profile in the U.S. (being able to locate a country on a map is, for better or for worse, a big selling point for Americans), and sexy, exciting, soulful wines that are big on flavor and stunningly varied in style — South Africa hits all the bases for potential wine stardom. But with customers that are, even in this day and age, still extremely insecure about trying new things in the wine world, education is key. Keep trying to connect with wine drinkers and industry people here. And get outside NYC, where you’re a small fish in a huge pond. Play up the things that make South Africa special and eschew the Brand Australia gimmicky marketing and Parkerization. I believe in a bright and exciting future for South African wine, and the more great wine and passionate people we see on this side of the pond, the easier my job is selling it.

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Obituary: Travel publisher Charlie Gatt

It is with great sadness that we share that Charlie Gatt passed away yesterday. Charlie was a member of the ATA Board since nearly the founding of the association. 

Charlie was our dear friend, a great supporter of ATA.  We keep Charlie and the Gatt family in our prayers and thoughts. ATA Team

Charlie Gatt, co-founder of the trade publication Travel World News, died on Aug. 13 in Norwalk, Conn. He was 81.  Born in Malta, Gatt emigrated to Canada in 1952, joining the Royal Canadian Air Force. He came to the United States in 1958 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.

From 1962 to 1972, Gatt worked at Trans World Airlines, where he was director of IATA affairs. From 1972 to 1988, he was chairman of Jet Air Transport Exchange and co-publisher of JAX FAX, a central clearinghouse for airline charter operators to connect with travel professionals.

In 1988, he co-founded Travel World News as a monthly print publication for destination specialists, and it remains an online publication today.   Gatt is survived by his wife, Sallie, son Peter, daughter Heather and nine grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son Chuck. Social Networking Site for USA Travel Promotion


CCA and Africa Action Plan
The Blair Commission for Africa Solicits Corporate Council on Africa to Provide U.S. Private Sector Input; Recommendations to G-8 African Action Plan. First time a G-8 chair seeks formal consultation with the private sector; Representatives of the Blair Commission on Africa and U.S. businesses will share information for Africa's future development. The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), the U.S. non-profit organization promoting trade and investment between the U.S. and Africa, will convene 30 of its members from the U.S. private sector and senior representatives from the Blair Commission for Africa on Thursday, January 6 to discuss Africa's development &endash; sector by sector. More->

are travel partners committed to quality and enriching leisure or incentive travel opportunities and experiences.
Our focus is specialized planning for and about “people of color”, African descendants, culture, history and activities.
Travel may be for groups or independent travelers.
We have over 20 years of combined experience in the travel industry and have extensive travel experiences acquiring intimate knowledge through out most of the continents.
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As we are rapidly approaching the end of summer it is time to look ahead for trips in 2016. My new list of offerings (to date) - for groups are as listed:
  • December 2015 - Ghana - Late season Panafest
  • March 2016 - Ghana -"Cultural and Heritage Tour"
  • May 2016 - South Africa
  • May 2016 - Senegal w/The Gambia - "Roots Festival"
  • August/September - South Africa/Zambia/Kenya ?Three Country safari and Heritage tour w/ The Winelands and The Great Migration
  • Cruise
  • January 04, 2016 - South America - Rio to Cape Horn (Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile)
  • Year Round - Papua New Guinea - Culture Tours and Sing-sings
All tours and groups may be booked on different dates as individual or custom packages. The development of the group is contingent upon 6 - 12 people traveling together and are usually priced based upon two - people sharing.
Be among the first to experience a new adventure. Call Meredith today! 954-484-5773