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Oct 21, 2010

BTB plans to market the jewel to the world

A two year plan to market Belize as a top tourism destination was unveiled today. The Belize Tourism Board hopes that despite the global recession, the marketing strategy will attract new visitors and place Belize strategically to compete in the crowded global tourism industry. New programs in destination planning and quality assurance are being given priority in the master plan. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Tourism, Belize’s fastest growing industry and driving force behind the country‘s economy, represents approximately a quarter of its gross domestic product.  As a matter of fact, one in every seven jobs is tourism related.  It is no surprise then that the Ministry of Tourism and its partner agency BTB have to remain proactive in the development of this sector.  The next two years will see a robust action plan being implemented to further promote Belize as a tourism destination on the international market.  Today BTB introduced Action Plan 2010-2012 to a host of industry insiders at the Radisson.

selenie matus

Selenie Matus, Director of Tourism, BTB

“As we know [uhm] these are [uhm] very difficult times that we’re in.  [Uhm] over the past two years or so there’s been drastic global changes.  First of all travelers have really changed the way they look to decide on destinations and plan their travel.  We’re also, we’ve also been [uhm] hard hit by the global recession and so this is calling for a different way of looking at issues and responding to it.  So from our standpoint it was extremely important at this point in time to shift gears.”

Included in those changes is the appointment of a new director of marketing.  She is Yanique Dollhouse, an executive who was recommended for the job by BTB’s public relations firm, BBK, based abroad.

Selenie Matus

“It’s calling for [uhm] large scale reorganization although we’re working.  All the existing staff have a new place in the organization.  What they will be doing and how they will be working is dramatically different and we’re also bringing in new skill sets and so individuals with the expertise that we currently don’t have to be able to compete globally.  The start of that was the announcement of our new director of marketing here today who comes to us via secondment from our PR agency in the U.S. And the idea is that at the same time and we’ve already started to work on this is identify the Belizean that will understudy Yanique Dollhouse to, over a specific period of time, be able to move in and fill that position permanently.”

According to Matus the buzz around Belize as a tourism destination is ever-increasing and with that comes the need to put strategic plans into effect.

Selenie Matus

“The interest in Belize continues to grow.  [Uhm] additionally, the recognition and the information about our brand is pretty skimpy in key markets and so there is a unique opportunity to do a deep dive to get into those markets with the new strategy that we have that is looking to shift away from your traditional media to more new media because that’s where consumers are and that’s where we’ll find them.  And so what we’re really doing is adjusting our marketing mix to be able to meet the demands of today and tomorrow.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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18 Responses for “BTB plans to market the jewel to the world”

  1. tek it says:

    Wow, BTB finally figured out that our branding has been and is pretty skimpy in key markets; damn I should have been given this job 5 years ago if that is the case, because I have figured this one out and I am not even directly in the tourist industry.

  2. Maria Marshall says:

    Plans to market Belize as a top tourist destination is wonderful news but surely tackling the rising crime rate must first be done before success can be achieved in encouraging visitors to our shores.


  3. Mr. B says:

    The BTB and GOB has spent millions on international consultants and studies. The One conclusion and recommendation has been that Eco tourism and sustainable tourism is the future for Belize TOurism. SO why are the GOB, the CEO of Tourism Michael Singh and the BTB pushing to approve Royal Caribbean Cruise SHips in Placencia? Cruise ships in Placencia or anywhere in SOuthern Belize will not create jobs, will take jobs AWAY from local Belizeans, will drive AWAY over night tourists which studies have shown spend 18 times more $ than cruise ship “Day trippers” and will devastate the reef, ecosystem and natural wonders that have attracted tourists here in the first place. Furthermore, only a few rich fat cats and some politicians will line their pockets with $ all at the expense of local jobs and the future of Placencia. Placencia will be destroyed along with all its jobs and future. Belize will also face a serious setback in that our niche as a major ecotourism destination in the entire world and “mother nature’s best kept secret” will be eliminated and our tourism industry will be SET BACK! BTB TALKS ONE DIRECTION AND WALKS ANOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE SHIPS IN PLACENCIA!

  4. rod says:

    tourism in belize could be triple what it is if not for the crime situation and the corrupt pm and gov. now belize is rated as the no2 country in the world for murders next only to mexico so if this gov is not changed things will only get even worse which is where i see belize going as long as this gov is in place resign barrow resignnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

  5. Al says:

    You cannot sell a country with the crime rate as high as it is in Belize. Show the world that Belize government knows how to deal with criminals. Establish yourself as a country that does not tolerate or incubate criminals adn people will come.

  6. EL CHE says:

    I am a belizean citizen,every time i hear belize referd as”the jewel”makes me SICK,first of all if belize is a jewel,on the rich,family members of politicians can wear it.belie is advertise on the internet as good place to retire,etc,which is a lie,their are countless stories of investors who go to belize and up with nightmares.another things is that the belize turism industry in monopolize,control by a click,a special club,again,friends of politicians,

  7. Ron says:

    I ahave to agree with the Al and Rod, the crime has to be dealt with. I am a Canadian that loves Belize and it’s people and I have personally witnesses many people change their plans to come to Belize for another destination. The reason, pure and simple was the crime and fearing for their families lifes while on a vacation. It had nothing to do with economics.

    So whoever, whatever and however the blames, solution and resolution ownership comes from it has to be part of the Government, BTB and the people of Belize’s game plan to increase tourism.

  8. rod says:

    under this gov in 2yrs tourism is in the toilet like everything else education in the drain ,tourism in the drain, unemployment at 25percent and going higher ,exports in the drain ,imports in the drain,corruption rampant ,higest murder rate in the americas next to mexico ,crime out of control and where is the pm in the best hotels in the world him and his family spending all the hard earn money on the backs of the poor people well one way to stop this people is to stop paying taxes no one in belize should pay not one more red one cent fu taxes enough is enough out with barrow. resign barrow resignnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

  9. Boris says:

    why we are so negative minded, instead of doing our part to improve the conditions we are living in right now, we start to blame others. Why not look at ourselves, what are we doing to change this social mess that we are living in Belize, this is not a blue or red situation, the government is only about 50 people and the Belizean sociaety is around 300000, now if we are smart and stop crying, jsut by the numbers who has the power.

    this is an alternative way how we can come out of proverty, we want to stay poor or what to improve our economic situation.

  10. rootsman says:

    Just what I was going to lament on Rod and Al already said it crime guys crime where do you guys have your brains at, unless of course it’s the crime situation you are trying to sell to the tourist then you will probably do better to just make a video of all the crime scenes and market that overseas titled something like “World’s Most Criminal Society” I am sure you will be able to make the Guinness Book of World Records. Rod I believe that murder in Belize is way worst than Mexico on a per capita basis I did some comparison on a comment of one of those lost case file stories correct me if I am wrong, by the way BTB and the department of Tourism I think that you guys should at least use a part of your budget to reach out to the poor people in Belize after all poverty has a big play on crime and this is not something that you can try to fool anyone on if you are not serious about this it will show the crime rate will stay climbing, it would be nice to hear the talk among villagers that the tourist board and BTB has a program at the community centers where they teach villagers how to make different crafts and maybe you can set up on the itinerary for the tourists to stop by and purchase these craft work, also invite the non working people in Belize city to go to the villages to learn that is only one program that can be initiated to help the poverty situation in Belize I am sure there are many other things that can be done but we will need to first wipe out the greed.

  11. rootsman says:

    O’h by the way BTB and department of Tourism, tourists really don’t care to buy a souvenir from a country that is made in China unless of course the country they are in is China.

  12. c says:

    what are you going to say when they ask if Belize is a safe place to visit??

  13. rod says:

    rootsman you have very good ideas but their is no leader to implement them if you want to find him go to mexico city or miami or chicago or california but you will not find him in the country we need a leader rootsman we dont need a tyrranical marxist in power sorry excuse for a pm.

  14. Earl Grey says:

    Look at JAMAICA………. they have HIGH CRIME and do a good tourism business.

    IT CAN BE DONE……….. after all we need the money…..


    TOURISM should be gravy……… not the main meal.

  15. Robert says:

    Belize is short-sighted putting most of its eggs in the tourism basket. We need to develop other industries here, but I don’t think either major party gives any thought to how to do it. Other Central american countries get big foreign investment and good jobs, but never Belize.

    It seems the leaders want to keep Belize and its labour force as their private piggy-bank, no matter how the people suffer as a result.

  16. Chris says:

    Get real BTB….you need to define the word Jewel……Belize is no way close to a Jewel…rather a place where there is are so-call laws and one where if the Tourist is not rob for personal effects there are killed by lack of proper policy for the activities they go in…Please you should be advocating to see this government put strict law in place to decrease these outrageous crime then you can market Belize…I sure as hell would not encourage any of my friends or family to return even for a visit to this place called Belize. Start think of people safety first and not money….And if you think i am being negative check the statistics first as am sure they will speak for themselves.

  17. egbert says:

    Belize needs every penny they can put their hands on. Don’t have any idea how much govt is investing in the NEW STRATEGY TO MAKE BELIZE A WORLD CLASS TOURIST ATTRACTION?

    Hope this investment is not futile,especially with tourists starting to become victims. The world is a small place today and with technology WORD GETS AROUND FAST.


  18. Dave "Pepper" Martinovich says:

    Hint: Get Henry Marsden, Senior Examiner for Belize Customs and Excise, in jail where he belongs, so that he can’t rob tourists upon entry into Belize – at the first place they come to – the airport. He’s done this to me, and he’s done it to others. (Oh, and how about hiring police that enforce law?)

    Read all about it at:

    Please give me your comments whether you’re Belizean or a tourist.


    Dave Martinovich

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