Hotel Online Special Report
NAACP 2nd Year Hotel Survey Uncovers New Leaders
Lodging Initiative Proves Effective; Some Hotels Stay Behind
Washington, DC - June 26, 1998 - NAACP President & CEO Kweisi Mfume released the second Consumer Choice Guide and Hotel Industry Report Card at a press conference in Washington, DC today. This guide and report card are part of the NAACPís Economic Reciprocity Initiative that has monitored the diversity and minority business development performance of the lodging industry over the last three years. 

Fourteen hotel chains were graded for the second guide and report card. While results varied, there was measurable progress. "Our survey findings validate that collective action and informed consumers can affect change," said Mr. Mfume. 

Over the last year, Mfume said the NAACP has closely monitored the industryís response to the NAACPís hotel initiative. "And, our co-sponsoring organizations have also kept a watchful eye over this industry," he said.

After the industry review was launched in 1996, only a handful of hotel chains responded to the NAACPís survey. This year, there was 100% participation.

Mr. Mfume recognized that progress has had challenges. "But change must come," he stated. "It takes time, resources and an earnest commitment from corporate executives." 

Mfume highlighted some noteworthy achievements of the initiative. Three hotels developed aggressive plans to promote diversity and minority business development. African-Americans were promoted to leadership positions. Vendor contracts have been signed. African-American ownership of properties has increased modestly. "In addition, there has been vigorous dialogue within the industry about the value of diversity," Mfume said. "We will diligently monitor this industry to make sure that the dialogue translates into action."

"We are particularly pleased that over 70 co-sponsoring organizations have joined this initiative," Mfume stated. "Thatís a 100% increase over last year." 

The economic reciprocity initiative reviews company records and data in five key areas: employment, vendor development / procurement opportunities, equity and ownership, advertising and marketing and philanthropy. The results were analyzed and graded. 

This year Cendant and Promus hotels surpassed the efforts of last yearís top winner Marriott Corporation. Best Western, Adamís Mark and Omni trailed with "D" grades. "Hotels that receive a D will not receive NAACP business dollars," said Mfume. "And, we will take every opportunity to inform consumers of our decision and urge them to make similar choices." 

Mr. Mfume cautioned that companies should not remain comfortable with just submitting survey information and receiving their grades. "Weíre looking for evidence that companies are taking steps to create opportunities for African Americans and other people of color," Mfume said. "The NAACP and the co-sponsoring organizations intend to keep consumers informed so that they can decide where, and where not, to spend their consumer dollars." 

The NAACP will be issuing its Telecommunications Consumer Guide and Report Card during the NAACP Annual Convention in Atlanta next month. For more information and updates about the Economic Reciprocity Initiative, see the NAACP web page at or call the NAACP national office.

NAACP web page at
Also see: Promus Receives Star Hotel Rating by NAACP

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