New BTB Logo, New Marketing Direction
Today, the Belize Tourism Board held its twelfth annual industry presentation. This year it was done on the Tourism Minister's home turf in San Pedro town. And why not? In 2012, he presided over the best year for overnight tourism in half a decade - with arrivals soaring and earnings as well.
But the BTB isn't content to rest on its laurels, it's moving forward with a new logo, and a fairly radical rebranding. We got a preview of the new look today:..
Jules Vasquez reporting
This is the Belize tourism logo you've known for the past 25 years, "Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret, but now it will be replaced by this - the new Belize Logo. This was the moment of the big reveal at today's Industry Presentation in San Pedro.
The logo is designed by Olson - one of the biggest and most highly-regarded marketing firms in North America. According to their release, the BTB asked Olson to "refresh its marquee" from this old faithful, a good quarter century old to this what the company calls a quote "contemporary, yet classic vibe to represent tourism in Belize 'modern yet timeless.'"
Director, Laura Esquivel Frampton explains:
Laura Esquivel-Frampton, Director BTB
"Every now and again it's every single company who is trying to sell a product to look at their brand, to look at their product, to look at what they are doing marketing wise and try to mix it up. We want to ensure that we are doing that before it gets stale."
Alyssa Carnegie, Marketing Director
"When we are looking at designing the logo and looking at some of the shapes and colors that really spoke to Belize a lot of the shapes that we found were inner circular shapes; the shape of the clock, the shape of people faces, the shape of your plate when you are eating rice and beans and stew chicken and salad - a lot of that, the sun was representative of Belize. One of the shapes that really stood out to us is the Coat of Arms that's on out flag is circular and so it's a shape that really speaks to us."
The logo is also about more distinctive positioning for Belize in the market
Alyssa Carnegie, Marketing Director
"Mother nature's best kept secret serve us well for 26 years. The thing is that we are not a secret anymore. Overnight arrivals are a testament to that. A lot of people are increasingly aware but some of the research we did do show that people weren't feeling Belize while they knew about Belize weren't aware that Belize is a premier vacation destination because a lot of the creative material that was out there wasn't really standing out. It wasn't really defining Belize and what we have to offer and so what we tried to do and in the new campaign with "discover how to be" was to put a more appropriate call to action meaning what do we want visitors to walk away with - our potential visitors to see when they are here discover how to be. Discover how to be is a really great call to action because it speaks internally and externally to those people discover, not only discover your country but discover yourself, discover what you've been missing, discover what you've been wanting."
But what about the wisdom if it ain't broke don't fix it? The fact is Belize is coming off its strongest year in overnight tourist arrivals since 2007 - without the fourth quarter figures totaled yet.
"How much of this is attributable to marketing savvy and success and how much of it attributable to dumb luck. In so far as (no disrespect) but there was the Mayan apocalypse and there was that bump that was created with that."
Laura Esquivel-Frampton, Director BTB
"This is a fantastic year and it's an opportunity for all of us here to tune our horns but it's a lot of hard work that went in before me and before the person before me. It's been a progression all along the way, so I have to say that there have been a lot of marketing efforts and let's not discount all the fantastic public relations opportunities that we've had. I know people laugh at us with the Bachelor, but the Bachelor brought us fantastic coverage and fantastic awareness, so I think when you couple the shot in the arm for awareness coupled with other activities such as the Maya calendar - I think they work together. We are not resting on laurels and say great we had a fantastic 2012 let's sit down. We continue to work and that's where we are going with the launch of the new brand, the launch of the new logo and the new design and looking for more intuitive ways to get our name out there and get our brand out there."
Ian Lizarraga, Chairman BTB
"If you have told me that 4-5 years ago that Belize was going to experience close to 11% growth in 2012 I would have told you you were crazy based on what I was looking at. Jules, what does that say? That says that in Belize if we work together we can accomplish magic. I think there is so much positive in and all around us every single day that if we challenge ourselves to find the positive or two positives for every negative we will inundate this country with so much good news that the bad news is put in perspective."
"I think Channel 7 should have a segment of the evening news dedicated only to the wonderful results of tourism in Belize. I didn't say monthly segment Jules, I said daily segment where we end the news every night with a little bit of good news just to give some people some hope and help us to realize that we are living in a wonderful country."
Lizarraga earned applause from the audience for that smooth-talk- but now a lot is riding on how the BTB shows itself in 2013 - and that applause could quickly subside if these record 160 million dollars in profits were to go down.
The new logo has not been fully rolled out yet - today's reveal was only a preview. The BTB also launched its Action Plan for the years 2013 to 2015.
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce the launch of its Action Plan for the years 2013-2015. Following a successful completion of Action Plan 2010-2012, the BTB embarked on multiple consultations with the tourism industry stakeholders and has crafted a realistic and measurable plan that will ensure Belize’s growth and longevity in the global tourism industry. After experiencing a record-breaking year in 2012, the Action Plan 2013-2015 was drafted with a base of tailored work plans and budgets in order to capitalize on our previous successes.
The Belize Tourism Board invited industry partners to San Pedro where it held its 12th annual Industry Presentation on Friday, January, 11, 2012. The presentation first outlined the successes of 2012 with included record-breaking quarters in tourism arrivals (10% increase overall) and a profitable year for Belize. Then the board members were very anxious to reveal the new three-year Action Plan.
The Action Plan 2013-2015 seeks to strategically position Belize through innovative, industry targeted sub-branding of the overall new identity for Belize. After months of research and dialogue with its partners, the Belize Tourism Board was extremely proud to unveil the new creative that will position Belize in a defining manner.
The changes for the new look range from colour palettes, small tweaking of the logo and new direction for the brand, which is reflective of Belize’s authenticity as a first class tourist destination. It has been 26 years since Belize has been “Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret,” but research has shown that the time has come for the country’s brand to move in a new direction, for a call to action, and for that reason, ‘Discover How to Be” is Belize’s new campaign.
According to Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, while the rebranding is geared towards smarter marketing of the Belize product in the global tourism market; it will also assist local stakeholders to better tailor their product offerings and enhance visitor experience. The BTB firmly believes that this repurposing of the brand will help to solidify Belize’s position on the international tourism map.
Guided by the framework of the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (NSTMP), the Action Plan embraces priorities in all key departments, with an emphasis on Marketing & Industry Relations; Destination Planning; Quality Assurance; Information Management & Revenue Collection.
Marketing & Industry Relations seeks to explore three core competencies, Strategic Marketing, Tourism Marketing Network and Operational Marketing that will stimulate, but isn’t limited to, key tourism positioning, enhanced communication, renewed tourism awareness and the introduction of new marketing technologies that will lead to increases across the board and tapping into new markets.
Destination Planning’s development will focus on six key areas, three of which include nature, culture and cruise, which are expected to spur business & product development, infrastructural expansion, increased sustainability and capacity building, which will also, positively impact governance.
The Quality Assurance, through the action plan, is deeply rooted in standards & quality management, capacity building & training, and sustainable tourism development, which are expected to positively impact the standards and classification system, conservation of resources, and certification programs.
Information Management’s key is to utilize data and knowledge management to ensure of a high quality collection, analysis and security of data which will be accessible via a web-based system. This system will also impact timely data gathered on tax collections, non-filers and delinquencies.
For copies of Action Plan 2013-1015, you can call the BTB at 227-2420.
12th Annual Industry Presentation highlights progress in tourism industry in Belize
New look unveiled and a 3-year campaign launched
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) held their 12th Annual Industry Presentation for the first time outside of Belize City. Held on Ambergris Caye on Friday January 11th, the event saw the unveiling of a new marketing logo for Belize, as well as the launching of a new three-year campaign. At the presentation, Minister of Tourism and Culture Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. highlighted the BTB’s accomplishments and indicated that despite challenges, there was an increase of overnight tourism arrivals in Belize.
Heredia was the first to officially speak and in his remarks stated that Belize’s tourism growth was far greater than expected in 2012. “Despite economic challenges, our country has truly performed like no other. The BTB reports that the industry has seen an increase of over 10% in overnight tourism arrivals in 2012, compared to 2011. To put this into perspective, the World Tourism and Travel Council indicated late last year that there was only a 2.7% growth in tourism arrivals globally in 2012 compared to the year before. This signifies that Belize’s performance has been extraordinary and establishes us as truly a major contender in our region’s tourism market,” said Heredia. He also said that all airlines that service Belize have indicated that flight destinations to Belize were sold from December 15, 2012 to January 15, 2013. The Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (PGIA) reported an increase of 16% arrivals in 2012 compared to 2011.
Heredia further stated that while the increase in tourism looks good and is encouraging, perhaps an even greater accomplishment is the 2012 approval of the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan which serves as a guide to improve systematic framework in the development and improvement of the tourism industry.
And while the figures for overnight tourism are encouraging, it was not so good for cruise tourism, which saw a decrease in 2012 by 10% when compared to 2011. It’s a major downturn that represents losses to the vendors inside and outside the Tourism Village as well as tour operators that depend on cruise ship passengers as a revenue earner. BTB Director Laura Esquivel-Frampton made mention of the figures in her presentation. Esquivel-Frampton spoke to The San Pedro Sun: “We are disappointed with those numbers and that is one of the reasons why we mentioned that we are creating a new position within the Belize Tourism Board – the Director of Cruise and Regional Initiatives. We feel it is important that we have somebody who is knocking on those doors, who is in communication with the cruise lines to ensure that we are hearing what they have to say and we are responding.” And while BTB is ensuring to remain engaged with the cruise lines, the fundamental problem is that Belize, like Grand Cayman are the only two destinations in the Caribbean without a berthing facility. Already there are talks by a cruise line company to pull out of Grand Cayman because of the lack of such a facility. But BTB’s Esquivel-Frampton said that the Government is already moving ahead in trying to address that issue. “The government is very active in looking for investors for a berthing facility in Belize. That is definitely on the government’s agenda and is also on the Belize Tourism Board’s agenda to get a berthing facility here,” responded the BTB Director. She explained that there were a number of factors that contributed to the fall in cruise tourism arrivals, including a general dip in the Caribbean region, the conversion of cruise to overnight tourism and even climate change as indicated by the Cruise Association in their report to Central Bank.
On the agenda was the unveiling of the 2013-2015 Action Plan, along with a new marketing logo for Belize and BTB and a new three-year tourism campaign. Action Plan 2013-2015 seeks to strategically position Belize through innovative, industry targeted sub-branding of the overall new identity for Belize. The Action Plan embraces priorities in all key departments, with an emphasis on Marketing and Industry Relations; Destination Planning; Quality Assurance; Information Management and Revenue Collection. Marketing and Industry Relations seeks to explore three core competencies: Strategic Marketing, Tourism Marketing Network and Operational Marketing that will stimulate, but isn’t limited to key tourism positioning, enhanced communication, renewed tourism awareness and the introduction of new marketing technologies that will lead to increases across the board as well as tap into new markets. Destination Planning’s development will focus on six key areas, three of which include nature, culture and cruise, which are expected to spur business and product development, infrastructural expansion, increased sustainability and capacity building, which will also positively impact governance. The Quality Assurance, through the action plan, is deeply rooted in standards and quality management, capacity building and training, and sustainable tourism development, which are expected to positively impact the standards and classification systems, conservation of resources, and certification programs. Information Management’s key is to utilize data and knowledge management to ensure a high quality collection, analysis and security of data which will be accessible via a web-based system. This system will also impact timely data gathered on tax collections, non-filers and delinquencies.
Belize-New-Logo-BannerBTB also launched their logo and three-year campaign after months of research and dialogue with key stakeholders and partners. “[We have always used the phrase] ‘Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret’, but research has shown that the time has come for us to move in a new direction, for a call to action, and for that reason, ‘Discover How to Be’ is our new campaign,” said Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie. She added that “the new [catchphrase] will help us to better position and market Belize for the destination and country it really is. Its authenticity, all of its likes, its culture and all of the products we have to offer, to make it more reflective as to who we are as a people and as a country. We did some research and ground work to put this logo together. The font is not a font that exists for anyone. We were the ones who actually designed it so it is unique to Belize. The DNA of the logo is so much Belize because even the shapes of the circles are reminiscent of the faces of the people of Belize… when we start to look at what are some of the things that are reflective and representative of Belize; the circle stands out and even the colors showcase what the products are that we have to offer. It looks at the ecological component which is the green in the west, the blue which is representative of the reef and sea and the sunset which is red and orange so a lot of work went into something that was fully representative of Belize.”
It is the hope of the Ministry of Tourism and BTB that after a successful 2012 in the tourism industry, they are poised to see improvement even more so with the new initiatives that have been launched. Already BTB is incorporating their new initiatives into the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan which is designed to yield better results in the years to come. BTB says that in the months to follow, they will continue to roll out the new look, and will embark on a sensitization process for the wider public in an effort for them to embrace and promote it.
San Pedro Sun