Staff Report

MIAMI, Fla. – For more than 30 years, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has organized the Hospitality Open Tournament, better known as the H.O.T. Challenge Golf Tournament, to benefit the Black Hospitality Initiative (BHI).

With the help of the South Florida community, the GMCVB has raised more than $3.5 million to finance scholarships for African American students and students of African descent who are committed to studying hospitality at local universities and working in Miami-Dade County’s visitor industry.

The bureau is hosting its 30th annual H.O.T Golf Challenge on Friday, April 28. Since its inception 30 years ago, the program has supported more than 450 students, many of whom have gone on to become tourism professionals.

Established in 1991, BHI was created following a tourism boycott of Greater Miami and Miami Beach that focused attention on employment inequities in the industry and was led by key leaders in South Florida’s Black community.

The civic action led to a 20-point program in which community leaders and activists created initiatives that boosted the role Blacks have in the local hospitality industry. The GMCVB and industry partners provide operational support, staff and resources to assist the BHI in carrying out its mission.

Essential to the impact of the BHI programming is the Hospitality Open Tournament, the initiative’s annual fundraiser. The golf outing brings together industry leaders, community partners and program graduates to participate in a day on the links at the Miami Beach Golf Club.

“Investing in our local students today provides them a springboard to launch successful careers tomorrow,” said Graylyn Swilley Woods, Ph.D., director of the BHI.

“Developing leaders and showing them a pathway for growth is a critical step in developing hospitality professionals who continue contributing to the success of Greater Miami and Miami Beach as a world-class destination,” Woods said.

“We are unwavering in our commitment to promote diversity and inclusion in the hospitality industry, and to be a facilitator that creates equitable opportunities for those who need help in our community.”

The event begins at 8 a.m. at the Miami Beach Golf Club, 2301 Alton Rd., Miami Beach. For other information visit