Saturday, February 5, 2011

BELIZE TOURISM STAKEHOLDERS DEBATE GOVERNMENT BUDGET PRIORITIES TO BOOST TOURISM.

PUBLIC DEBATE IN BELIZE ON WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BUDGET AND SPEND AND HOW, TO PROMOTE TOURISM IN BELIZE

Belize has been on the TV and in US media in various forms a great deal in 2010. I've watched specials on the caves, diving, manatee sanctuary, read dive magazines, islands magazine, cycling etc. all with articles specifically about Belize. The country was heavily promoted in 2010. From that perspective word about the country has gotten out very well at least in the US market. Has anything been done in the European Market-I don't know-but many visitors to the caye are european especially in the slow season. Maybe we could market there more and in China, with the newly growing middle class.

The focus now should be on actually getting people to Belize vs other destinations. Airline cost is one factor in that. My choice in Miami is an AA monopoly on flights with poor service. I miss TACA dearly along with its excellent service and great safety record. Belize needs to convince me to go there. Why should I spend $800 US per person on a ticket to Belize when I can go to China, Hawaii, Europe etc for less than that or about the same. Almost all of the other central, north american and south american airfares are less costly than going to Belize. For a family of four airfare alone from Miami runs $3200 US without considering food, hotel, or entertainment costs. Cancun and many other destinations I can enjoy offer more value for the buck. So while I would like to go visit as a family 3 to 4 times per year we currently limit it to 1 or 2 persons once per year. That means less remittals going to Belize. Belize could benefit from more remittals and from providing better access to visit the country. Jet Blue is to slowly increase service to all central american countries. I would rather support a "home" airline such as "Maya" given all other factors are the same such as reasonable cost, easy access, timeliness, reliability, good service etc. ( Sharon Urscheler )

On Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 2:09 PM, Ray Auxillou wrote:

For my $4 million half of the Tourist Board money. Between any TV advertising paid for by our government. I would sincerely believe that a low cost budget airline from the USA to Belize would do more for the economy and overnight tourism. I vote that the BTB investment half = $4 million go to buy guaranteed government reserve seats on the airline, or 10% of the seats to be used by bureaucrats going on authorized financed trips for meetings and consultations, or whatever they do? At least in the high season, mid December to mid August. At any rate, securing a budget priced airline ticket into and out of Belize is more important I judge personally, than any other endeavor, including advertising the tourist industry. We are a name brand destination now, not like the old days. If you could do both, all the better. But if there must be a priotorized choice, I would go with buying at least one flight a week with the proposed Mayan Island Airways flight, 10% of paid for reserved seats and if the government´s other departments do not use their budgets for traveling, then Maya Air can sell those seats and get paid twice, thus helping with their gamble.
Lan had posted the costs of a ticket in Belize one time, and there was a huge surcharge on there, responsible for most of the ticket price. Think it was a fuel surcharge, but who collected it and where it went is still not known. It is obviously still there? We get rid of that mysterious attachment and also get a budget airline, we are in business as a tourist country baby. Then real estate prices here are going up again, more investors building hotels and more lodges and bringing in their circle of friends and family as overnight tourist guests, maybe the locals will learn how to sell them shares and form a limited liability company and develop things through speculative capital, instead of borrowing loans from agencies and banks. The budget airline from my experience and viewpoint is NUMERO UNO as a government priority for 2011.

--- On Fri, 2/4/11, Lan Sluder wrote:


From: Lan Sluder
Subject: Bz-Culture: Re: Super Bowl Ad for Belize?
To: "Belize Culture"
Date: Friday, February 4, 2011, 1:47 PM

t's not really as far-fetched as it sounds.

The Belize Tourism Board budget typically is around US$8 million a year, one-half of which is for advertising and PR and the other half for staff salaries, junkets and overhead.

Overnight tourism to Belize trails every other country in Central America and arrivals peaked several years ago.

Maybe it's time to try something different?

--Lan Sluder

On Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 12:38 PM, Lan Sluder wrote:

Wouldn't it be great if Belize could have sprung for a 30-second commercial on the Super Bowl this Sunday? The spot would only cost about US$3 million and would reach over 100 million people in the U.S., many of them prime prospects for a reef, rum and rainforest vacation. Plus there are huge opportunities for PR associated with a Super Bowl commercial.

--Lan Sluder

1 comment:

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