The Belize Tourism Board is implementing new strategies geared at tapping into new and emerging markets. The recent strategy is the introduction of COPA and Southwest Airlines in Belize. Karen Bevans, Director of BTB spoke to Love News on those strategies.
“Lately we announced the COPA flight coming to Belize that is a part of our strategy; diversifying and getting to new and emerging markets. In another strategy to help with that is that we are implementing minimum standards for accommodations and properties. To help with that, to ensure that the stakeholders that need some kind of assistance or some kind of strategies and help to uplift their standards, we’ll help to bring them up to that standard so the rooms can be available and that go hand in hand with the increased air lifts, room stock and we satisfying the demand.”
Bevans says that minimum standard is being implemented in services for stakeholders and industry partners.
“We have also implemented what we call the Local Road Show that we engage with stakeholders and discuss with them what we can do together, what we can do better and what more we need to invest in or what other strategies that we can use, what is working for them, what isn’t and some of those we implemented. So, the idea is to work closer with stakeholders, give them that level of confidence, utilize their feedback and input and make it an all inclusive industry because BTB alone is not the industry. The entire budget is now being satisfied; we are operating cash positive and everything that we need to do based on recommendation from our international marketing agencies, those are being done. I must say that we are financially stable and again we will show that this afternoon. To do that we had to enhance our efficiency measures internally but with that done and proper controls put in place we have been able to get our external audit up to date which shows that we are stable and we can perform to the level the industry demands of us.”
Karen Bevans ensures the public and stakeholders that the BTB is there to prepare, assist and support whatever is necessary to develop the industry.
“I want to also give you a level of comfort that the human resources at the BTB is also undergoing training to keep up and keep in line with the industry, keep up with the new strategies and all the new initiatives that you as stakeholders and industry partners are also doing. We mentioned the importance of training and the guest experience so at the BTB we are ensuring that our people are also prepared to assist you to work with you and to give you the support needed to develop the industry. So you could see there that our entire team has been undergoing leadership training, we are involved as well in strategic planning sessions, marketing training and we will continue doing those in 2015. Our board has approved our strategic plan for 2015 and the associated budget and we are now operating as a proven organization we have enhanced all the process and made sure that we are meeting all standards, all audit requirements, all accounting procedures and all that is required to operate prudently and ensure that the tourism business is on stable footing and stable foundation.”
According to Bevans, the Belize Tourism Board is financially stable and capable to perform to the level the industry demands. Love News understands that the marketing budget for 2015 has seen a twenty five percent increase allotted mostly for the North American Market while one million dollars have been committed to market Belize in South America and Europe.