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Mar 15, 2023

People, Food & Culture – B.T.B. Launches New Culinary Series

Following the newscast tonight, a culinary series will be launched right here on Channel Five. Episode one premieres at seven-thirty p.m. and will provide a first look at People, Food and Culture – an in-depth feature on Belize’s diverse cultures, cuisine and people. It’s the brainchild of the Belize Tourism Board and took over a year to put together. Today, at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, stakeholders in the sector gathered for the official launch of the culinary series. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Starting tonight at 7:30 p.m., Belizeans across the country, in the comfort of your homes, will be exposed to the diverse elements that speak to our national identity. People, Food and Culture is a new marketing strategy that is expected to attract domestic and international travellers to Belize.


Nicole Solano

Nicole Solano, C.E.O., Ministry of Tourism & Diaspora Relations

“Belize has always been known for its natural attractions so we know about the Belize Barrier Reef, we know about the Blue Hole, the atolls, the jungles, but we haven’t really been able to focus so far enough on the food, the people, the history. We know that people travel and they need to eat and they want to experience the cultures. So this is an important opportunity for us to really highlight the variety and diversity of cultures within Belize. And that’s what the essence of this project is all about.”


Belize does not have franchise restaurants like McDonalds or Burger King, and often the tastiest foods can be found at small food stalls in culturally-rich communities.  C.E.O. in the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations Nicole Solano says that the project speaks specifically to authentic experiences that travellers are now seeking.


Nicole Solano

“Authenticity is what travellers are looking for right now. So from a tourism perspective, when we put the show off, we are looking at it from the perspective of the traveller and what they are looking for. Travellers meaning international and local, so we have domestic tourism and international tourism. So very important is for us to showcase what the diversity is but in a very authentic way.”


It took the B.T.B. an entire year to do this production and what is being launched is the culmination of months of documenting and post-production work.  San Pedro and Orange Walk, for example, were not featured in the twelve-part culinary series as it focused on potentially marketable destinations.


Josue Carballo

Josue Carballo, Director of Industry Development, B.T.B.

“For this particular series, we’ve always noted that Belize is remarkable when it comes to the warmth of our people receiving our tourists and so we are all ambassadors and to know your country. And this in itself, it is beyond cuisine. It is about the story-telling. It’s about the traditions, the cultures and setting up a heritage cultural background to what Belize is in six diverse regions which show the richness that we have as a country. Through our national sustainable master plan, there are also other destinations called emerging destinations. So under industry development it is our job to create these new platforms, these new areas of development of visit. And so that is where these areas were chosen based on where we see potential. We go into these areas, we do assessments and we try to bridge the gap to make them from just open destinations to marketable destinations.”


B.T.B. Director of Industry Development, Josue Carballo says that ventures like this that promote the creative sector are supported by the orange economy trust fund.


Josue Carballo

“We believe heavily in the creative arts, in the creative sector so we do have to push that creative economy in Belize. So we are going to have two videos per destination and what’s important though is documenting. That’s very important and sometimes we lose that, some traditions because maybe we are not told about it, we did not hear about it, but you can now sit down and learn from these videos.”


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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