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#312758 - 11/29/08 04:42 AM GOB to Boost Tourism
Don Greife Offline
Yesturday the Daily had an article which said the GOB was seeking a loan of $30M from International Bank to boost tourist trade, and that the Tourist Bureau would hold a meeting today to say how $13.3M would be spent and when. This news kinda came as a surprise, because "one might have speculated" that,, since a similar announcement had been made by the Tourist Bureau just a few days before the "cheap tickets sale" was announced on the "AirFare WatchDog" site,, that the Tourist Bureau may have made a $ deal for reduced fares with the airlines and AirFare WatchDog a couple of weeks ago for those sales..... It is my hope now that no such deal was made by the Tourist Bureau... Because the money might have been better spent TARGETING TOURISTS rather than making cheap tickets available to ALL.
Consider; The bottom line for the Tourist Bureau's dollars is to encourage TOURISTS to come to Belize. IMHO the airlines made available to ALL, only those flights which had the least commercial appeal,, most of which required that the traveler overnight someplace at least one way. It may be that the tourist encouragement dollars spent by the Tourist Bureau be directed at the Tourist. Other Carib countries are offering cash travel vouchers to tourists rather than allow the airlines to dictate schedules and non-competative prices (at the expense of the Tourist Bureaus there.)
Any opinions?
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#312782 - 11/29/08 03:41 PM Re: GOB to Boost Tourism [Re: Don Greife]
SnoopysMom Offline
I agree with you - the cheap tickets also targets "cheap tourists" that do/will not patronize many of the businesses on the island.

Following the Today show, they should specifically target market the environmentally conscious / friendly tourist (some studies suggest they are less sensitive to price). I understand that fly fishing is a hobby of the wealthier set also.

#312783 - 11/29/08 03:50 PM Re: GOB to Boost Tourism [Re: SnoopysMom]
SnoopysMom Offline
Oh, and it would really be great if they could keep corruption to a minimum and spend the funds appropriately. I'm just saying....

#312784 - 11/29/08 04:00 PM Re: GOB to Boost Tourism [Re: SnoopysMom]
shuffles Offline
Tough question. On one hand, the lowering of the airline prices had an immediate effect on hotels, restaurants, and the local airline, (if indeed those that came did not spend money at gift shops, tours, etc, although I believe they did spend some money there). I think the lower prices gave people who were considering coming to Belize the incentive to do so, and also gave some people who are regular visitors an opportunity to come at a time when they would not have. (The Today show aired AFTER the lower airfare prices)

On the other hand, I do believe that more "tourism" dollars should be spent on mass television ad campaign in the US and Europe. The commercials put out by the Bahamas, Jamaica, etc., are simple, they portray their countries beautifully, and Belize would benefit from some 45 second spots that are similar.

Based on the world economy, and particularly the US economy, lowering the airfare, if only briefly did alot to keep businesses here going in a somewhat scary situation, when we were all here wondering what this season would hold.

Tough call!
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#312872 - 11/30/08 02:04 AM Re: GOB to Boost Tourism [Re: shuffles]
Don Greife Offline
The Tourist Bureau said they would hold a meeting and then let us all know their plan for spending the loan money. Todays Daily printed a bureau response and, in part, said;
Works in these four areas include construction and improvement of information centres and other facilities for visitors; construction to restore beaches and reduce erosion; landscaping and restoration of the urban centre," an IDB release said.
"In addition, the IDB will finance the preparation of a National Tourism Master Plan for the entire sector, the development of an updated country branding strategy, and a matching grant facility for micro and small businesses helping to strengthen value chains for tourism and offset the cost of complying with standards including sustainable tourism criteria."
The programme also seeks to support communities in promoting tourist access to the Maya and Garifuna cultures. Read More.
I didn't get a lot out of this message. Can anyone shed some light on its meaning. I didn't read anything in it that would prompt me to go out and buy another ticket.
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#312873 - 11/30/08 02:21 AM Re: GOB to Boost Tourism [Re: Don Greife]
shuffles Offline
No light from me....sounds like political gobbledeegook....
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#312877 - 11/30/08 02:55 AM Re: GOB to Boost Tourism [Re: shuffles]
Don Greife Offline
I'd like to think that the BZ Tourist Bureau will read the post below "Hawaii Tourism in Trouble". There is a message in it for them. Not a particularly good message but nonetheless a message.
It says the average tourist to Hawaii used to spend $1920.00 and now spends $1632.00,,, mostly due to the reductions to "IN-COUNTRY" costs for facilities. MAN, this distracts from the IN-Country income......... Why not just give the tourist a free ticket to fly? (Paid for by the tourist bureau,,, the amount of which could be recovered through TAX programs)and keep the local rents/tours etc the same price.
FACT: Subsidizng the airlines for ticket costs has worked for years where it is practiced. Better yet, give the TOURIST the subsidy and let him/her select which airline, when, which flight schedule. (not left to the airline to dump Tuesday, 6:00am schedules on us)
With free air fare to BZ I would continue to spend my $1600 IN-Country for a 4 day weekend of fishing and perhape give my guide a better tip.

Edited by Don Greife (11/30/08 03:00 AM)
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#312888 - 11/30/08 06:53 AM Re: GOB to Boost Tourism [Re: Don Greife]
Moby Offline
Did the Tourist Bureau present any calculations how the money spent will pay back in GOB revenues?

#312911 - 11/30/08 04:33 PM Re: GOB to Boost Tourism [Re: Moby]
Don Greife Offline
They didn't publish all of the details, but did say "what percentage" income had been reduced,,, so it is apparent that they have calculated "how much they can spend" on (tickets/subsidies/free lunches/advertisements/etc)and still realize a profit from the tourists $1632.00. I'd think the BZ Tourist Board might do the same arithmetic. I just hope they target the TOURISTS with their $'s and not the airlines. Tourists will give them the best "bang for the Buck".
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