Belize pledges to strengthen UK trade ties

Belize has pledged to work closely with the trade as it attempts to promote the destination among UK travellers.

The Central American country has met with agents and tour operators including Audley Travel, Explora, Journey Latin America and Intrepid as it looks to drive visitor numbers after the pandemic.

It is also planning a new rewards programme for UK travel agents, with more details to be announced later this year.

More: Staff shortages and rising costs pose challenge to Latin America recovery

Belize joins Atas to drive trade bookings and raise awareness

Tourism minister Anthony Mahler said the country, along with neighbouring destinations, will continue to lobby airlines for a direct route from the UK to make the journey more straightforward.

“If you live in the USA you probably know about Belize but in the UK that brand awareness is a little bit less, and we’re working with our partners here in the UK to improve it,” he said.

“We’re leading training sessions and having continuous dialogue with the trade, as well as leading fam trips to Belize to show people what the destination is about.

“We’ve tried to build up the relationship with the trade for some time and we really see the importance of it as we continue to grow as a destination.”

The country has seen an increase in demand for branded properties in recent years, with the Alaia Belize – which has 150 luxury rooms – opening in 2021.

Over the coming years Alaia will be joined by properties from brands including Six Senses, Margaritaville Resort and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

Mahler added Belize’s landscape and history make it an attractive proposition for UK tourists.

“We are home to the second largest-reef in the world and also three of the four atolls, the other being in Mexico, and of course the Great Blue Hole,” he said. “And we have over 200 offshore islands all across the country.

“We are rich with flora and fauna with a dense tropical rainforest, and we also have temples all over the country with the history of the Maya.

“We also speak English and have a diverse people. In terms of bang for your buck I guarantee you’d be hard pressed to find a destination that offers all of that.”

Mahler was keen to stress that “sustainability is at the core of everything we do”, with the country  in the process of “modernising” its sustainable tourism masterplan alongside the University of Belize.

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