We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stephanie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factors behind my success have always been my ability to seize opportunities, fully execute plans and projects and produce high quality work for my company and clients in the spirit of excellence. The success of my brand is being known as a leader by colleagues and clients for my ability to strategically position myself and business to attract opportunities as well as my capacity to accomplish a lot in a short period of time.

What should our readers know about your business?
Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism, Inc. (CHAT South Florida) is a tourism and business development company that works to level the playing field for small black and brown travel/tourism businesses to actively participate and profit in the multibillion dollar industry. CHAT is the premier tour company for cultural heritage walking and bus tours in South Florida. Our ability to provide authentic local experiences that immerse visitors in rich cultures and history in Black neighborhoods is what differentiates CHAT from other tour operators. I am most proud that our tours drive tourists’ foot traffic and dollars into local Black small businesses and neighborhoods. We have created a replicable tour product model that leverages tourism as an economic driver for fueling local businesses and neighborhoods. My drive and determination to create broader diversity, equity and inclusion in the tourism industry is my passion and life’s work. Introducing innovative and game changing initiatives is not easy as it requires gaining buy-in from small businesses, local stakeholders and the industry at large. Consistently producing results and making impact through our initiatives has gained the attention of industry leaders and local stakeholders. As a disruptor, I am on a mission to ensure black and brown businesses are able to participate and profit in their local tourism ecosystems.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Whenever family or friends visit South Florida, I always take them on our Black Miami Cultural Heritage Tours so they have an opportunity to visit several heritage neighborhoods in Miami. We spend an afternoon in each of the following neighborhoods exploring rich cultural heritage through the local people, historic sites food, art, music and dance: -Historic Overtown visiting the Dana Dorsey House, Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum, Cooper Door B&B, Dunns Josephine Hotel, The Tribe co-working space and dining at the Lil Greenhouse Grill. -Little Haiti visit the Little Haiti Cultural Center, Caribbean Marketplace, Libreri Mapou Book Store for a taste of Kremas and Ti George Cafe for a tasting of Haiti staples. -West Coconut Grove exploring historic Charles St. and Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, the oldest Black church in Miami-Dade county. -Liberty City visiting the Historic Hampton House exploring where Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many other Black greats stayed and performed. -Little Havana to become immersed in Cuba culture through the vibrant art, music and Cuban cuisine and visiting the Cuban Memorial Park, Domino Park, Futurama Art Galleries and strolling along 8th Street. Besides the historic neighborhoods, my favorite spot to hang out and share with family and friends is the rooftop of the Betsy Hotel on Ocean Drive and South Beach.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First, I must shoutout my mother Elsie L. Robertson. She was my first exposure to entrepreneurship and inspired me to pursue becoming an entrepreneur even before I graduated from high school. My mom was a licensed cosmetologist for 35 years and I grew up in the back of her beauty salon observing her tireless work ethic and drive to be a successful businesswoman to care for her children. I decided in 12th grade that I would follow in my mother’s footsteps to become an entrepreneur with my own marketing & PR business by the age of 30. I accomplished this goal at age 29. Secondly, 20 years later, I am still going strong as entrepreneur but must credit my professional mentor Dawn Drew for helping me to excel at a higher level and on a national and global platform in the travel and tourism industry. As one of very few Black female leaders in the travel and tourism industry, since connecting with Dawn in 2019, she has been very influential in introducing me to industry leaders and stakeholders and pouring wisdom into me that I have never received before. I proudly shoutout Dawn for believing in me personally and my vision to advance Blacks in travel and tourism.

Website: https://www.chatsouthflorida.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram/chatsouthflorida
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephaniemjoneschat/
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/chatsouthfl
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chatsouthflorida

Image Credits
Credit: Cultural Heritage Alliance for Tourism, Inc.

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