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Jan 27, 2016

Bad Press Following Anne Swaney’s Murder Affecting Belize’s Image

The unsolved murder of ABC producer Anne Swaney, an American tourist who was killed while vacationing in Belize on January fifteenth, is another black eye for the country.  Not only are the circumstances surrounding her death baffling, but Belize has been receiving a lot of negative international publicity in the wake of the homicide.  So, what is the B.T.B. doing to stave off the backlash?  That’s what we asked this morning.


Noriko Gamero

Noriko Gamero, Marketing & PR Manager, B.T.B.

“The concern is legitimate.  We definitely know that any negative press can impact our tourism numbers.  We’ve had stakeholders send in their feedback that some travelers that are booking are concerned about the safety of Belize.  One of the things we want to ensure is that this situation [got] such a high media coverage because of the rarity of it, for a traveler to be exposed to such crime in Belize.  We are working, not only right now, but in the past year, trying to gather different approaches or different safety methods or strategies that can be implemented as a proactive from industry partners to ensure safety in the tourism industry and not just for the travelers but for our local Belizeans as well.  We have been [working] in collaboration with the police department, the press office, with our industry partners and as well with our ministry, in trying to mitigate the next couple of months and how we can deal with the negative media.  One of the main things is to just push forward the positive image of Belize, keep ensuring stakeholders and travelers that Belize is safe, that is not something to be concerned about.  And in the other issues we’re trying to mitigate it in a proactive approach rather than a reactive approach.”


While the F.B.I. has been assisting in solving the murder of Swaney, no one has yet been charged. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “Bad Press Following Anne Swaney’s Murder Affecting Belize’s Image”

  1. Spike says:

    Ms. Gamero, instead of a proactive or reactive approach, how about an honest approach: Belize really isn’t safe – at all. So the tourists, and their dollars, should GO SOMEWHERE ELSE for a relaxing vacation. At least if they do go somewhere else, they’re more likely to come home ALIVE.

  2. Marie says:

    I have said before, the safety of citizens and visitors is important, hire more police, and community watch for all types of criminal activity. If you see something suspicious report it, and police should follow up.

  3. Luna says:

    Putting more effort into solving the crime, rather than worrying about how a brutal murder impacts tourism numbers, might be the first step to appealing to the international community. I know I’ve crossed Belize off my list.

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