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Sep 30, 2019

Innovation + Tourism Talk: Learning Tips to Expand & Grow Industry

A number of high profile strategists are taking part in Innovation and Tourism Talk, an event organized by the Belize Tourism and Industry Association.  Stakeholders involved in tourism are getting tips on how to grow their business to reach larger markets by using Google. News Five’s Duane Moody has the following report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The second annual Innovation and Tourism Talk was held at the Radisson Fort George today where tourism stakeholders were engaged in new trends when it comes to marketing their businesses and attracting international tourists—whether to their brand, products or services. It is the brainchild of the Belize Tourism Industry Association.


John Burgos

John Burgos, Executive Director, B.T.I.A.

“The main objective of this initiative, began last year, the main thing is we want to provide learning experience for the stakeholders in tourism so that they will be able to better position themselves online so that they can reach a global market. At the end of the day, we want to have more tourists come and experience Belize. So what they will be experiencing today is exposure on video marketing and use the Google platform to be able to sell their properties, their destinations better.”

One of the highlights of today’s conference was a presentation made by an account strategist from Google. As they all found out today, the popular search engine provides many tools—some free and others at a cost—to market businesses—be that through business ads and more. Shamara Valdez Rubio is based in Mexico, but travels the region sharing knowledge on the various functions of Google.


Shamara Valdez Rubio

Shamara Valdez Rubio, Account Strategist, Google

“Something that was really exciting today is just realizing the potential of tools and opportunities that Google has to offer. I think in talking in one-on-ones and in the presentations, a lot of people were like “Wow, I didn’t know this existed.” And so simply, first of all, sharing that knowledge with businesses and these stakeholders, but also the next step: how do we action on this? How do we make sure we get online? How do we make sure we are taking advantage of all these opportunities? So I think that’s the takeaway of today.”


Duane Moody

“So how do they take advantage of the vast services that Google has?”


Shamara Valdez Rubio

“So we talked about a few of them today, but I think one that comes to mind is “Google My Business,” which is a free tool where you literally just go online, create an account, verify your business and when I come to Belize or Google: restaurant near me or where should I stay, I can connect with these businesses. It’s a free tool, everyone has access to it and I think that’s one of the ones that for example today was huge during the presentation.”


The session was also interactive and C.E.O. of MORETURISMO, Juan Miguel Moreno spoke about simple tips that can be cost-effective, but most impactful for small and medium scale tourism projects.


John Burgos

“What he is doing right now is showing you how to use your smart phones to produce very good videos about your products and services and the experiences so that they can learn to do this on their own. We have a lot of properties in Belize that don’t have the big budgets where they are going to be able to pay three thousand dollars to get a nice thirty-second video. No. We are showing you that you don’t need to do that; you can do it on your own. And we are giving you the tools and all the training you need to do those.”


Duane Moody 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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