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Jul 13, 2018

Digital Marketing Brings Tourism Stakeholders Together to Promote the Jewel

Representatives from local tourism stakeholders joined international digital marketing experts for the B.T.B.’s fourth Digital Marketing Summit. The one-day event was held at the Biltmore Plaza. Sessions covered four critical areas relating to online platforms that will keep the local industry on top of its game and ahead of the competition.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Selling Belize’s diverse tourism products and services online, particularly in the digital marketplace, is a surefire means of attracting visitors from across the globe to the country.  By creating a highly interactive environment for stakeholders to share a wealth of ideas on topics including content strategies, content creation, as well as social media trends, the Belize Tourism Board has engaged industry partners in capacity building.  Today, those companies, a number of whom are from the United States and elsewhere, have come together to provide a nurturing digital environment for local marketers.

 

Barry Brown

Barry Brown, Afar Media

“Afar Media has been a partner of Belize Tourism [Board] for the seven of the nine years that we’ve been in existence and our focus is to inspire, guide and enable travelers to have deeper, richer, more meaningful experiences.  You hear from a lot of brands that they want to get beneath the surface and offer a local experience and that’s really true of Afar as well, but what we focus on is the crème de la crème of the audience.  So it’s not a mass brand, it really is about focusing on the best quality customers.  We’ve got the most affluent, the most educated and the most traveled audience in the industry, and one of the things that we find about Belize for our audience in particular is that they really do respond to the Belize message.”

 

Afar is a San Francisco-based publication focused on firsthand travel.  Established in 2009, the magazine has received awards in the travel writing and journalism industry.  It is one of several participants in B.T.B.’s Digital Marketing Summit.

 

Maynor Larrieu

Maynor Larrieu, Digital Marketing Manager, B.T.B.

“The B.T.B., specifically, invests greatly in digital marketing to promote Belize as a premier destination and we know that we can’t do this alone, you know.  We need the assistance of the private sector, so for us this is the way of building capacity and digital marketing is something that evolves so quickly and that’s why we have this yearly.  Every year things change with digital marketing, every other day there’s a change in social media strategy or Google has a development.  So it’s very important for us, not just for the B.T.B. to make big investments and making a big splash and having a really nice digital marketing strategy to promote the country, but we also need the assistance of the private sector who needs to chime in as well.”

 

Belize’s individuality as a tourism destination allows for many stories to be told on experiential travel from a first-person point of view.

 

Barry Brown

“It’s a unique, beautiful, distinct type of travel experience and we found that in a sweepstakes that Belize delivered over forty percent more than any other sweepstakes we had done.  We found in other categories that they delivered up to sixty percent more response and engagement than other destinations.  So our contribution to today’s digital summit is to really help craft stories and strategies for developing great customer content and how to target that customer content.”

 

Lonely Planet is the largest travel guide book publisher in the world, with broad travel industry coverage and emphasis on digital products.  This is its introduction to what Belize has to offer in the tourism sector via the digital marketplace.

 

Hannah Karns

Hannah Karns, Sales Director, Lonely Planet

“This is our first year participating in the Belize Digital Marketing Summit.  For us, especially given that our heritage is in print publications, we understand the need to expand into online content, it’s something that we ourselves have had to do and so it’s a pleasure to be able to share some of our experiences where we’ve been engaging with people and how we ultimately work to drive more visitors to new and exciting destinations.  For us, we find that Belize is such an awesome spot for tourists and visitors to experience from the variety of cultural experiences here to the outdoor adventures to the amazing ecological diversity of the barrier reef.  There’s so much that Belize has to offer in such a small, relative package and what we work to do is to really communicate all of the different values and really ultimately drive more visitors to this amazing country.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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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