Belize City, Wednesday, June 9th 2004- Belize had a distinct presence in Houston, Texas, at one of the largest Scuba Diving and Adventure Travel Expo over this weekend, June 5th June 6th, as the Belize Tourism Board, in partnership with a delegation comprising various private sector representatives, had the opportunity to represent Belize at SEASPACE 2004.

SEASPACE attracts exhibitors from the Caribbean, United States and Central America. The 2-day show is primarily a consumer show that targets those who are looking for diving vacations. It is an excellent promotional medium that had the participation of over 200 exhibitors with experts on various outdoor sports and exotic travel destinations. An unprecedented figure of more than 8,000 attendees was recorded.

Show highlights included a huge and diverse Exhibit hall, a Gallery of Underwater Photography presented by the Los Angeles Underwater Photo Society and the Texas premiere of the exciting new IMAX film “Coral Reef Adventure.” Also at the Exhibit Hall, participants were able to enjoy seminars and in-depth workshops running from 10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. daily. Leaders in the dive travel and equipment industry offered free presentations during both days.

The Belize Tourism Board’s booth exhibit featured large photos of the Blue Hole and the Xunantunich Maya Site as a backdrop, together with other images of Belize’s attractions. Promotional materials to assist visitors in planning their vacation to Belize included maps of Belize, the Destination Belize magazine and other visitor information. Samples of Belizean-made products included the popular Marie Sharp’s miniature hot sauce, Traveller’s Liquor, Maya Whiskey and Coffee.

“We continue to aggressively market Belize at shows that demonstrate greater opportunity for exposure within our target market. The dive market is one of Belize’s niche markets and well known for its marine attractions,” comments Director of Tourism, Tracy Taegar. “Our attendance at SEASPACE is a part of our strategic plan to bring Belize to the forefront of the dive Market and Houston is one our hubs, making it an ideal location to strengthen our awareness,” Taegar continued.

Participating establishments included the Belize Tourism Board, Belize Tradewinds Paradise Villas, Blue Hole Divers, Belize Harbour Village Beach Club, Portofino Hotel, Perla Escondida Resort Condos, Peter Hughes Diving, Sunbreeze & Mayan Princess Hotels, Belize Sunset House, Tropic Air, Belize True Beginnings, Turneffe Flats, and Belize Turneffe Island Lodge, Hamanasi Dive & Adventure Resort, Nekton Diving Cruises and Blue Marlin Lodge.

While in Houston, representatives from the Belize Tourism Board also conducted an educational audio-visual presentation highlighting Belize’s reef, rainforest, archaeology, and culture. The presentation was attended by well over 100 travel agents of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Greater Houston Chapter on Monday, June 7th, 2004. During the presentation, travel agents were introduced to Belize’s natural attractions brought alive with vivid sights and sounds. The presentation aimed at increasing their awareness and knowledge of Belize, in an effort to effectively promote and effectively sell the destination to their clients. The agents participated in a question and answer session where their knowledge on the product, based on the presentation, was tested. They won prizes such as educational CD’s, gift packets of Belizean produce such as liquor, coffee and pepper sauces. Two grand prizes comprising of vacation packages, courtesy of the private sector was raffled at the night’s event.