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Aug 23, 2019

First-of-its-kind Cruise Conference Held in Belize

A first conference for tourism stakeholders took place today in Belize City. It was organized by the Belize Tourism Board to encourage those in the industry to become more competitive and maintain the edge on cruise ship tourism. Tourist arrivals have been on the increase but other destinations have been upping their services. The Belize Tourism Board believes that visitors experience must be enhanced for the sensitive industry to keep its presence in the jewel. Here is News Five’s Isani Cayetano.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Stakeholders from across the cruise tourism sector gathered in Belize City today where they participated in the inaugural Belize Cruise Conference.  Organized by the Belize Tourism Board, the discussion focused on various areas in which the visitor experience can be enhanced.  Director of Cruise and Destination Planning at BTB is Noriko Gamero.

 

Noriko Gamero, Director of Cruise & Destination Planning, BTB

Noriko Gamero

“Today’s obviously the first ever Belize Cruise Conference 2019 and the objective of today is three topics.  The first is get ready, you know, different panelists in the morning spoke about how do you prepare for the cruise arrivals?  How is an itinerary selected?  How are we ranking currently in comparison to the Caribbean?  Where do we rank in terms of guest satisfaction?  We have to get ready of the competition that exists out there and the objective is to get the locals to hear what we hear on an international basis and see how we can collectively come together to improve that.”

 

Cruise passengers have increasingly high expectations from their experiences, and as a result, so do the cruise lines.  If a destination fails to level up to the increasingly high standards, the cruise line may choose another destination.  Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence is one of several presenters at the conference.  According to Beth Hatt, guest satisfaction is paramount.

 

Beth Hatt

Beth Hatt, Founder, Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence

“How you treat guests, guest satisfaction ratings are impacted by how you treat the guests and talking about storytelling and how you can bring stories to what you give as a tour or even as a vendor, stories about some of the things you are selling and things like that.”

 

The idea, says Gamero, is to be able to add value to the visitor experience by creating a wow factor that will ensure that visitors do return to the Jewel.

 

Noriko Gamero

“How do we infuse the experience part, the wow part into what Belize has to offer in our return guests?  We want the stakeholders to hear, yes you are doing an amazing job but what are these missing gaps that can make us better?  We heard this morning that we have improved drastically on a guest satisfaction standpoint with an 8.2 now, but in comparison to the other ports in the Caribbean, on average they are at 8.8.  So with little milestones opening up their eyes, letting them hear what we hear everyday and that we can come together as a family and make it better.  This morning we all agreed we’re going to make ten, not eight point eight.”

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.


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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