Tourism is the leading sector in Belize and in recent years this sector has been soaring. There is a lot that goes into keeping this sector competitive including the annual tourism industry conference held by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). This year’s conference focused on wellness and rejuvenation as well as birding and was held today at the Princess Ramada Hotel. Karen Pike, the Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, told the media that it is important for them to have the annual conference where they can share emerging trends with their stakeholders.
Karen Pike Director of Marketing and Industry Relations: “We have representatives from marketing agencies in the US, in the Netherlands and in the UK. We also have speakers who are coming to us from other parts of the Caribbean and Europe. With this what starts is the communication with the Industry stakeholders and when we have Industry visits, when we have marketing events, we get more information and gather more information from our stakeholders.”
The keynote speaker, Carol Hay, Director of Marketing at the Caribbean Tourism Organization, said that people are looking for authentic experiences and want to take their experience home with them where possible.
Carol Hay Director of Marketing Caribbean Tourism Organization: “One of the things is always to look at technology in Tourism and to ensure that visitors are always aware as to what Belize has to offer and how they can access it. People are always online 24/7 looking for experiences, where can they go? how can they get there? where can they stay? what can they do? how can they purchase it? so the number one thing is to ensure that you are open for business and also as well to understand that when visitors visit a destination they actually want to be able to purchase authentic souvenirs and I think it’s important to realize that people want some of the more indigenous products. They want to buy the local teas, rums, beers and also people are into health and wellness so they want local soaps, body scrubs, candles and other products and when you consider some of the natural resources that we have right here in Belize we always need to ensure that we are using these resources, of course that the products are manufactured and packaged to a high standard and that they are available to visitors.”
This year’s theme was “Rising Tourism Trends and Its Impact on the Belize Market.”