Cultural tourism was the focus of the Belize Tourism Board’s annual conference, as the industry’s stakeholders learned how best to capitalize on our rich culture. Misty Michael, the Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, told the media that everyone has a role to play in ensuring that the tourist has a memorable experience.
Misty Michael, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, BTB: “Last year we experienced the third consecutive year of double digit growth. I think we’ve definitely done a really really good job of creating that awareness of Belize, people know where Belize is they either been here, they know somebody who has been here , they have it on their bucket list to come. I think our work will continue to focus now on making that conversion, you know where it is but now we want to actually get you here so we want to continue working toward increasing visitor arrivals as well as increasing their time in country. Belize is in line pretty much with what the Caribbean as a whole is experiencing , the issues that the industry here is experiencing is the general experience across the board.
Cultural tourism is becoming a popular trend as tourists travel to foreign lands to immerse themselves in local cultures. The keynote speaker, Stephanie Jones the person of the Culture Heritage Alliance for Tourism in the US said that it is important for businesses to know what type of experiences tourists are looking for.
Stephanie Jones, Keynote Speaker: “Cultural immersion is really about the people because we’re all cultural beings and it’s about the destination and how they go about engaging their local community assets to provide these local cultural immersion experiences to tourists when they’re visiting a destination. Tourists want to have these local engagements and immersive experiences with local people, they want to be engaged in the culture through the food, through the music, through the dance, through the art and just local exchanges because it just makes the experience so much more memorable when you’re travelling and you also get to learn about a destination from a local perspective.
Reporter: The theme of the conference was “Destination Marketing and the impact on our Belize market.” This year’s conference was held at the Biltmore Plaza.