The Destination Belize is a tourism publication that has been in existence for over a decade and has served Belize’s industry well. Last night at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, there was an official launch of the magazine’s theme for 2017 as explained by the BTIA’s Executive Director, John Burgos.
“We invited all the various stakeholders and partners that have and continue to contribute towards the new branding and creation of the Destination Belize Magazine. So what we did, we did two things, firstly we held an online contest “Discover to uncover” we opened it up to the general public and all different local artists to provide submissions of images that they believe portray Belize in a very excellent manner on the magazine. So we had that last night where we recognized the best pictures in the various categories and also we finalized on a theme which is basically going to lay the groundwork of what the content will be and the layout of the magazine. The theme now is “Travel Curious? This journey will change your” that is what we’re going for we believe that it certainly captures some level of curiosity. We based that on a lot of interviews and exchanges we had with various visitors to Belize regionally and internationally and they all expressed how wonderful the experience is, they always want to get to know more, how good an experience they had as a destination, the experiences, the food, the culture, the people and I must say they emphasized greatly on how beautiful the Belizean people are. So we believe that “Travel Curious, This journey will change you.” Once you come to Belize it does change you in a positive way.”
Burgos says while they cannot stray from the content of the magazine, there are new avenues that the association is looking at with the support from McNab Publishings.
“The key thing is that we cannot stray away from the content. We’ve got to present what Belize has to offer and part of that is showing the visual of depicting the different pictures for the different destination whether it is beach and leisure, adventure, Maya, food, heritage we have to portray a little bit of everything. As you know for the size of Belize it has so much to offer so we have to try to continuously present it in the best way. In terms of the branding and what we are seeking is that we are trying to maximize the distribution, that is the reason we decided to partner with McNab publishing, they offer us an opportunity now to have a destination Belize app that is going to be very accessible, interactive, user friendly to all potential tourists. We are going to have an ebook that is also going to be available, we are incorporating QR code technology that for the first time is going to be able to provide us with data and let us know where the tourists are looking at the magazine, who is downloading the app, who is downloading the ebook and for the first time we are going to be able to say that we have 100,000 Americans that downloaded the app, 50,000 Brazilians that downloaded the app. So that is where the rebranding comes in.”
As it relates to finances, the magazine is a half million dollar project with support from the Belize Tourism Board in addition to the advertising clientele in the magazine.
“It’s the only singular publication that promotes Belize in this manner. We have been operating since 1995 so from last year we had received countless numbers of emails requesting the next publication. As you know this is something that the world looks forward to. All the travel agents, the different diplomatic offices, different NGOs, Government Offices worldwide.”
The magazine will be officially launched in September 2016.