The Ministry of Tourism and Culture has been taking a hit in the wake of the destruction of the Mayan monument, Noh Mul. While its C.E.O. Tracy Panton, acknowledged these are dark days for the ministry, there are at least two rays of sunshine to report in the areas of flights to Belize and cruise tourism. The Belize Tourism Board’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations Alyssa Carnegie told News Five that Noh Mul aside, things are looking bright in tourism.
Alyssa Carnegie, Director of Marketing, B.T.B.
“We’re really excited…it is hugely important because it not only verifies and validates that there is increased and renewed interests in Belize. We’ve been very aggressive but very strategic in terms of our marketing efforts to promote Belize and to market Belize and position Belize as a world-class premiere tourism destination. What this means is that people know about Belize; they are interested in Belize and they want to come. The airlift is actually based on actual booking. This is not projections; this is based on demand and just looking at economics and the basic laws of supply and demand—people are asking for it, so the airlines are demanding it. And we believe that this is pretty much the beginning of what we think we will begin to see for the rest of the year and going into next year. One of the things that we’ve gone very smart about is knowing our tourism product: where are the people located, what are the product offerings they have and to what standards there are. The quality assurance department within the Belize Tourism Board is actually working to develop standards not only for properties but also for tour operators. So it means that the quality of product and the service that we are offering will be heightened or will be assured or validated to consumer, the customer who is coming to Belize. So it is not only an effort to stimulate interest, but the idea of what they come here—what they see is what they get or what they are being told that they will get, is what they are actually going to receive. So there is great work being done with the stakeholders on the ground to make sure that they are ready; that there is need for it and that we can accommodate these people. And we really do feel that we are at that point where Belize is really ready to take off.”
“Tell us about Navigator of the Seas.”
“It is actually one of the larger ships from Royal Caribbean and we are very excited about it because it means that we have renewed interests from a cruise perspective.”
It is expected that the increase in cruise calls will result in over ninety thousand cruise visitors to Belize.