Dear European Traveller, Belize’s shores await!
Most tourists that visit Belize are from North America, particularly the United States. While those American dollars are always welcomed, the tourism industry wants to take advantage of expanding opportunities in Europe. That’s why Belize is making the pitch at FITUR that its white sandy beaches, intricate nature trails, and its smorgasbord of unique cuisines await. Love News is in Spain covering FITUR all well. Dale McDougall has the story.
Dear European traveller, come to Belize! That’s been the country’s message at this year’s La Feria Internacional de Turismo or FITUR, happening in Madrid, Spain. Many Belizean players in tourism are there, hoping to capitalise on this opportunity to get Europeans on flights, heads in beds and for them to come enjoy the sea, sand and sun. Ted Tejada, who sits on the Belize Hotel Association’s board of directors, believes the jewel is uniquely positioned to do just that.
Ted Tejada – Board of Directors, Belize Hotel Association: “Like they say, out of sight out of mind. Over the last three years we have not been able to travel. This is the first time it’s happening in three years. We need to be out there and show the people that we exist. During the pandemic a lot of hotels ended up closing so many of the consumers don’t know if you are open, you’re closed so we need to be here to tell them we are open and not only open what did we do during the past three years that we enhanced our product for them ? And that is the reason that we need to be here to showcase the product of Belize because that’s what we have to offer. It’s an unBelizeable product that we sell.”
Caribeville on San Pedro, one of the country’s leading spots, is also trying to do its part to get European travelers to make the trip.
Tiffany Jones-Ferguson – Caribeville Belize: “The impression is that Europeans love to travel. They love to have new an exciting experiences and Belize is a wonderful haven that they can come and enjoy and for us we offer the island experience to that so we’re able to just build on what the entire industry is marketing.
For companies like S&L Travel Tours, the effort requires a wholesale pitch, one which sells Belize as a place for everyone, from the beach lover to the foodie.
Elvira Nuñez – S&L Travel Tours: “As a DMC we sell the entire country. So you know for us it’s representing hotels, we do local airlines, we do tours, we do transfers so it is for us you know selling the entire country of Belize is a very good experience for us because we get to showcase everything that our beautiful country has to offer.”
Belize – the whole package – is among the top 23 destinations to visit in 2023, according to CNN Travel and thanks to the COVID lockdowns, people are traveling differently. That’s why Tejada insists we must find ways to get the visitors to keep coming here.
Ted Tejada – Board of Directors, Belize Hotel Association: “If you look at earlier we had so many restrictions, every country had their own restriction and as restrictions are lifting up people are now starting to travel differently. They’re looking for houses or hotels that have kitchenettes so that they’re able to socialize with their family and also they’re learning to travel more as family. They’re appreciating more their family members prior to the pandemic.”
Nunez reiterated that shows like FITUR are absolutely essential in getting the word out, that indeed Belize’s warm, friendly atmosphere awaits.
Elvira Nuñez – S&L Travel Tours: “It definitely is worth the investment. We are hoping that we’re gonna get a lot more sales from this visit. It’s very promising. From the amount of agents that we have met in this show so far it’s the second day and we have seen a lot of people already.”
Dale McDougall, Love News.