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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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A two year plan to market Belize as a top tourism destination was unveiled today. The Belize Tourism Board hopes that despite the global recession, the marketing strategy will attract new visitors and place Belize strategically to compete in the crowded global tourism industry. New programs in destination planning and quality assurance are being given priority in the master plan. News Five's Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Tourism, Belize's fastest growing industry and driving force behind the country's economy, represents approximately a quarter of its gross domestic product. As a matter of fact, one in every seven jobs is tourism related. It is no surprise then that the Ministry of Tourism and its partner agency BTB have to remain proactive in the development of this sector. The next two years will see a robust action plan being implemented to further promote Belize as a tourism destination on the international market. Today BTB introduced Action Plan 2010-2012 to a host of industry insiders at the Radisson.

Selenie Matus

Selenie Matus, Director of Tourism, BTB

"As we know [uhm] these are [uhm] very difficult times that we're in. [Uhm] over the past two years or so there's been drastic global changes. First of all travelers have really changed the way they look to decide on destinations and plan their travel. We're also, we've also been [uhm] hard hit by the global recession and so this is calling for a different way of looking at issues and responding to it. So from our standpoint it was extremely important at this point in time to shift gears."

Included in those changes is the appointment of a new director of marketing. She is Yanique Dollhouse, an executive who was recommended for the job by BTB's public relations firm, BBK, based abroad.

Selenie Matus

"It's calling for [uhm] large scale reorganization although we're working. All the existing staff have a new place in the organization. What they will be doing and how they will be working is dramatically different and we're also bringing in new skill sets and so individuals with the expertise that we currently don't have to be able to compete globally. The start of that was the announcement of our new director of marketing here today who comes to us via secondment from our PR agency in the U.S. And the idea is that at the same time and we've already started to work on this is identify the Belizean that will understudy Yanique Dollhouse to, over a specific period of time, be able to move in and fill that position permanently."

According to Matus the buzz around Belize as a tourism destination is ever-increasing and with that comes the need to put strategic plans into effect.

Selenie Matus

"The interest in Belize continues to grow. [Uhm] additionally, the recognition and the information about our brand is pretty skimpy in key markets and so there is a unique opportunity to do a deep dive to get into those markets with the new strategy that we have that is looking to shift away from your traditional media to more new media because that's where consumers are and that's where we'll find them. And so what we're really doing is adjusting our marketing mix to be able to meet the demands of today and tomorrow."

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,465
Great idea....Now if we could get the Local Airline fees down to a more competitive rate this would also help attract financially conscience travelers.

My friends call me Judyann
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Belize Tourism Board launches Action Plan 2010 - 2012

Throughout the years, the Belize's tourism industry has played a key role in the growth of Belize's economy and contributed drastically to the quality of lives for many Belizeans. As Belize grows and the world becomes more aware of its unique wonders, undiscovered landscapes and vast cultural experiences, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), along with the private sector and key stakeholders are responding with a genuine commitment to providing world-class service and accommodations for any budget.

According to reports coming out of the BTB, the tourism sector alone represents at least 20% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and 1 in every 7 jobs is either related to or driven by tourism. From January to August 2010 the hotel sector reported a nearly 4 percent increase in overnight stays in comparison with 2009. The cruise sector reported a nearly 17 percent increase in the total number of onboard passengers from January to August 2010, as compared to the number of onboard passengers the same time last year. The BTB's Sustainable Tourism Program has generated several project contracts valued at approximately $1,386,000BZ, of which two major contracts were awarded to Belizean firms, while the remaining contracts are being supported by local expertise. With respect to foreign exchange earnings, tourism accounts for 7 out of every 10 dollars generated by services alone, and overall roughly 1 out of every 3 dollars generated by merchandise exports and services combined.

On Thursday October 21st, BTB launched what it calls its "Game Changing Action Plan" for the years 2010-2012. It promises a complete overhaul of how the BTB works internally and how it reaches potential visitors. Invited to the launch were key stakeholders who had been consulted as well as members of the various media houses.

According to Director of Tourism, Seleni Matus, BTB contracted an outside group of consultants to advise on the 2010-2012 Action Plan, which undertook an intensive consultation process in June and July of 2010 to develop a plan that would be responsive to the BTB and a wide array of stakeholders. More than 50 tourism sector leaders and organizations participated in the action plan development process. Consultants specializing in Internal Management Systems, Quality Assurance, Marketing, and Destination Planning worked closely with the BTB staff to design the recommendations and fully vetted the plan with the BTB Board of Directors and via a national stakeholder meeting. The Action Plan carefully reviews how the BTB can deepen its collaboration with leading trade associations, including the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), the Belize National Tour Operator Association (BNTOA), tour guide associations throughout the country, as well as public sector agencies, such as the National Institute of Culture and History, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service.

While the Action Plan calls for bold change, it relies on the strengths of the BTB - using its existing management capacity, well-trained team members and its ability to build upon pre-existing partnerships with the private sector and its trade associations. It lays out a clear set of Priorities, Proposed Outcomes and Actions that are a complete manual for staff to implement the required changes.

Among the priorities identified by the plan were to: Create Trade and Offline Department to foster and develop Trade Marketing; Create Direct and Online Department to implement New Media Marketing; Consolidate Media and Public Relations into new Media Department and to Create a Sustainability Department to liaise between Marketing departments and with the Destination Management and Product teams.

Undertaking the task of implementation and sustaining the Plan, is a leadership team; the Executive Management Team. The team is comprised of Mr. Lloyd Enriquez, director of destination planning; Laura Esquivel, director of quality assurance; Mrs. Shakira Syme, leading up revenue collection team and registrar of hotels and Mr. Orlandp Azueta, leading the finance and administration team. Leading this team is, Marketing Director, Ms. Yanick Dalhouse who boasts extensive work experiences in marketing public relations and broadcast journalism.

San Pedro Sun

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 174
I wonder how many tourist dollars are getting missed as people spend in Mexico on their way to Belize via Cancun.

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