|That’s Maury the dolphin showing off his “moon walking” skills!|
|Simon Villanueva, primary dolphin trainer explains the importance of creating a healthy environment which in turn promotes tourism. |
Sunday marked the commencement of Tourism Awareness Week that was celebrated nationwide with several activities and events held through Friday, January 26th. Tourism Awareness Week is being celebrated under the theme “Make the choice, Play a Role, Enhance the Tourism Experience.” In an effort to involve both the local and visiting populace in celebrating Belize, the Belize Tourism Board in partnership with various NGO’s and private sector organizations, will sponsor numerous enlightening as well as engaging activities. The Belize Tourism Board believes that after embarking on these tours, the media could share the experiences with the public at large through reports, articles and commentary.
Activities featured on the calendar of events include the Minister’s Address to the nation, and a Triathlon that took place on Sunday from the Sandlighter’s Promenade. On Monday, media all across the country were invited to partake in the activities by participating in a two day itinerary that included a dolphin encounter and jungle adventure. The real life “hands on” interaction with the dolphins was a first and what a thrill that was. The dolphins and trainers were professional, very well trained and provided a fantastic show. The main purpose of these tours was to acquaint the media with some of the newer activities that the tourism private sector partners have to offer and to give them an insight as to what the international media also enjoys when they are in Belize. (Read the full story on “dolphin encounter” on next week’s issue of the Visitor Guide in The San Pedro Sun.)
Next, twelve schools participated in BTB’s Third Annual Social Studies Quiz at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts. This quiz gave children from Corozal to Punta Gorda the opportunity to participate and in doing so, have a chance at coming out on top and walk away with some fabulous prizes. Today, incoming visitors to Belize were greeted with special emphasis on appreciating their role in the Tourism Industry. The Visitor Appreciation Day took place at the Philip Goldson International Airport and Fort Street Tourism Village. Lastly, the festivities will conclude with BTB’s seventh Annual National Tourism Awards at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza to commence at 7:00pm. The award show will be honoring organizations and persons in the industry whose performances continue to characterize distinction and comprehensive industriousness. In a press release from Minister of Tourism, Godfrey Smith states, “Tourism continues to be a very important economic contributor to Belize’s economy, providing greater opportunities for many Belizeans to get involved and increase their standard of living. Tourism Awareness Week had been dedicated to highlight the importance of local support in the development of the country’s tourism industry. I invite you to join in and take part in the week’s activities.”
Tourism Awareness Week, as its name implies, also aims at bringing focus to the intricacies of this dynamic industry as well as saying thanks to all those who have contributed to its continued development.