Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2020. 11:03 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Obviously, there’s nothing like the real thing. But in the week leading up to the re-opening of the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA), members of the Canadian press were hosted by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) on a virtual tour of The Jewel from September 22-October 1.
The Board said it intended to “provide a virtual experience for journalists to learn about Belize’s recovery plan, meet with key industry partners and embrace Belize’s great outdoors while at home. Through this immersive experience, journalists had four touchpoints with BTB over the course of the 2 weeks, highlighting Belize’s tourism, and received information throughout the virtual press trip, just as they would during a real visit. The virtual press trip aimed to encourage storytellers in the market to become educated about Belize and share this knowledge with their audiences.”
Participants from eighteen media outlets, including the Canadian Travel Press, Daily Dream 360, Perfect Wedding Magazine, the Toronto Sun and the Travel Courier, also received detailed information on the new destination protocols and Gold Standard certification along with a gift bag of Belize branded items to make their virtual trip even more meaningful.
And for the most part, the reaction was summed up this way: “What a great presentation! Really felt like we were there and I learned so much,” Gabi Sandler said. “Wow, this is incredible! Perfect place for an active getaway,” Anna Lee Boschetto pointed out.
During the virtual press trip, local stakeholders such as the Lodge at Chaa Creek, The Belize Zoo, The Belize Audubon Society, Ramon’s Village Resort, Tropic Air, Splash Dive and Laru Beya had the opportunity to share videos on their property/operation and tours and also engaged with the media in lively discussions.
The Board regularly hosts overseas journalists to increase editorial coverage and in developing relationships with journalists and every few years does the same for Belizean journalists.
But with the PGIA safely re-opened, it’s once again time to see Mother Nature’s formerly best-kept secret first-hand.
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