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Portofino Beach Resort Attends WTM in London!

Posted on 20 Nov, 2009 in the For our Travel Trade Partners!|Portofino News Category. 1 Comment

Belize Team

World Travel Market is the second largest travel professionals’ show in the world and draws suppliers and buyers from all over the globe. Monday and Tuesday are “meridian” days strictly for accredited buyers, press, airlines and other travel related service suppliers’ . On Wednesday and Thursday travel trade and press are still present and in addition students, agents and other travel professionals are allowed into the show.

Belize had a 7m x 4 m booth, which was in the Central and South American area of the event. This was a great location and foot traffic by the booth was extensive throughout the show.  In attendance were the BTB Belize accompanied by the London based tourism personnel from the Belize High Commission, Belize Vacation Partners, Hugh Parkey Adventures Group and Belize Luxury Collection. Also Anthony Hunt from the Airlift Development Committee was present for two days.

The booth was very well decorated with floor to ceiling striking images and meeting tables and chairs, a DVD showing the latest CD of Belize and on the front counter were BTB and BHA brochures, some generic material and brochures from the private sector present.

The over riding impression of the show was that Central America is enjoying some increasing interest from many markets and that Belize is currently poised to get a lot of new traffic from Europe. Many of the tour operators cited increased requests for Belize as the reason they came to the booth to meet with us.

1 Response to "Portofino Beach Resort Attends WTM in London!"

1 | Rene & Hilde said on November 26th, 2009 at 4:51 am

We, from Belgium, were already twice in Belize Portofino resort!
Highly recommended !
René & Hilde

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Exploring Belize: Central America’s Caribbean Destination.

Posted on 19 Nov, 2009 in the Articles about Portofino Beach Resort Category. No comments


Weekly Edition Newspaper: November 13 – November 19, 2009 | San José Costa Rica

By Tim Rogers
Nica Times Staff |

AMBERGRIS CAYE, Belize – For many Central Americans – a predominantly Pacific-coast oriented population – the Caribbean side of the isthmus has always been considered curiously, if not distantly, as “the other coast.”

weekly_11_13_09st11But for Belizeans – Central America’s peculiar English-speaking neighbors who live in a small slice of jungle and beach wedged between Guatemala and Mexico – the Caribbean is the only  coast, and it’s the rest of the region that seems a bit curious.

Since its full independence from Great Britain in 1981, Belize has mostly lived with its back to the rest of Central America, opting instead to identify with other English-speaking island nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

As a demographic illustration of that point, one needs only to travel across Belize to note that the closer one gets to the rest of Central America, the fewer Belizeans one will find. Indeed, more Belizeans live on the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye than in the mainland capital city of Belmopan, which, with a population rounded up to 10,000, is the least inhabited capital in the world.

For the most part, Belize has had good reason to stay on the Caribbean side, especially considering how slow the rest of Central America has been in welcoming it to the neighborhood. Guatemala didn’t recognize Belize until 1992, while those with older maps still referred to the country as “British Honduras” years after its independence.

But now that’s starting to change, as Belize begins to embrace some of its neighborhood roots and tries to use its unique geographical situation to its advantage.

“We are Central America, but we are also the Caribbean. So we want to be a Caribbean getaway for Central Americans,” says Sandra van Noord, owner of the stylish beach resort Portofino, on Ambergris Caye.

As the country integrates more into the rest of the isthmus, Belize is also trying to distinguish itself as Central America’s Caribbean destination, rather than the Caribbean’s Central American destination.

“Competitiveness is key in a global market, so we need to move forward on integration with Central America,” said Dionne Chamberlain, head of Belize’s Tourism Chamber and president of the Federation of Central American Tourism Chambers (FEDECATUR).

Chamberlain said that the world economic crisis, which has hit Caribbean tourism markets even harder than Central America’s, has forced the tourism sector to “revitalize our industry” and “start thinking outside the box.”

As Central America tries to promote itself in Europe and Asia as a single, multi-attraction destination, Belize – the region’s most developed, English-speaking Caribbean destination – has a lot to offer the package as a complement to the rest of Central America.

“We can’t keep putting all our economic eggs in one basket and looking toward the United States as our only tourism market,” Chamberlain said. “We need to form new partnerships and collaborations and start looking to markets such as Mexico, Russia, Europe and Canada.”

With daily flights to and from Cancun, Mexico’s largest resort town, Belize can also serve as “a link between Cancun and the rest of Central America,” says Mike Singh, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism.

Jungles, Caves & Reef

weekly_11_13_09st12The former heart of the Maya civilization some 3,500 years ago, Belize is home to spectacular pre-Columbian ruins – some of which are so tucked into the jungle they are accessible only by traveling up the extensive Belize River, which starts in Guatemala and winds 180 miles to the Caribbean Sea.

Most of Belize is jungle – over 75 percent of the country is covered in tropical forest, half of which is protected. The jungles of Belize are home to abundant bird and wildlife, including five species of wildcat.

Underneath the jungle lies Central America’s most extensive cave system, providing unique and wild cave-tubing day tours where tourists can float down the river in inner tubes through miles of caves, wearing only a bathing suit and a spelunker’s headlamp.

But Belize’s most famous attractions lie under the crystal blue Caribbean waters. With a 185-mile long coral reef – the longest in the Northern Hemisphere, a world heritage site and one of the seven underwater wonders of the world – Belize is home to some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the world.

Amid the waving and hypnotizing coral, electric-colored fish festively festooned in flamboyant striped patterns, dart in and out of their underwater castle playground. Hugging the seafloor like shadows, giant stingrays flap effortlessly beneath the diver as sea turtles nibble on sea grass before darting to the surface for a gulp of air.

Meanwhile, at the extreme edge of vision, a giant nurse shark swishes her tail and moves away into the darker ocean depths.

Skin divers can see a greater variety of sea life during a two-hour snorkeling trip on the reef than they can from a lifetime of watching the Discovery Channel. And it’s all just a 10-minute boat ride off of either Ambergris Caye or the much smaller and cozier Caye Caulker, 10 miles south of Ambergris Caye.

At the end of the day, with one’s back properly burned from snorkeling, it’s back to the hotel for several cold Belikin Beers and a fresh seafood dinner (which, incidentally, feels like a guilty pleasure after a day of making new fish friends on the reef).

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Three Days of Filming at Portofino Beach Resort with Chef Keith D. Jones!

Posted on 19 Nov, 2009 in the Articles about Portofino Beach Resort Category. 4 Comments


Belize Food & Culture on International TV!
Chef Keith Jones brings you the first delicious season of ‘Taste of Belize’, his unconventional culinary-variety show!

Colours TV arrived on Ambergris Caye on Friday, November 13, with a camera crew that will be filming a new show called “Taste of Belize” with celebrity Chef Keith Jones for the television network. The new six-episode culinary experience promises to expose the very best of Belize’s food and culture to millions of viewers in the United States.

Colours TV entices its viewers to join Chef Keith Jones, for a unique “Eatertainment” experience, while he travels across Belize, as the “culinary ambassador to the world.” In each episode, Jones will meet vibrant “people” within Belize. From local standouts to international visitors, Jones sets out in search of interesting people and amazing cuisine.

With over 25 years of food artistry expertise, Chef Keith Jones promises to bring his effervescent personality and flair for exotic cuisine to Belize, the “Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret” for his third television series. “Taste of Belize with Chef Keith Jones” is a feast for the eyes, the soul and the imagination!

This week, Chef Keith Jones was at Portofino Beach Resort and La Perla del Caribe cooking up a storm, before he set to visit other parts of the country. Shot in high definition, Chef Keith Jones is set to travel around Belize, taking viewers on a journey filled with food, culture and fun. He connects with Belizean Chefs that help him prepare traditional dishes, while learning cultural lessons from the people he meets along the way. Colours TV promises that this will not be your ordinary “how-to” cooking show, this is what Chef Jones likes to call, ‘Eatertainment’

Taste of Belize with Chef Keith Jones will be scheduled to run during the most desirable day parts in an effort to maximize viewership and sponsorship support. Colours TV will help distribute Belizean content across the United States to over 19 million homes and 47 million potential viewers.

“The sharing of these cultural stories fit perfectly with our mission of celebrating people of color, and showcasing them in a positive light,” said Arthur O. Thomas, Executive Vice President Colours TV.

If the name “Taste of Belize” sounds familiar to you, it’s because Chef Jones picks up the name for the show after BTB annual Taste of Belize culinary competition which he was a judge for earlier this year. “Taste of Belize with Chef Keith Jones” will be six – thirty minute episodes that is due out on spring 2010; filming is scheduled to be complete by November 24, 2009.

Guest Book Keith

About Chef Keith:
Keith Denard Jones or Chef KDJ feeds all the senses while sharing over twenty years of culinary artistry and chef’s secrets through his “Eatertainment” presentations which debuted November 9, 2009 on Colours TV. Chef Keith Jones brings his entertaining presentations to the world of delicious, healthy food preparation.

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Jones studied under certified Master Chef, Edward Janos for eight years, learning classical French cuisine and techniques. Jones was certified as an Executive Chef in December 1999. Since his certification, he has won several medals from the American Culinary Federation culinary salons in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Colorado, including the grand prize in the Clos Du Bois Wine and Food Pairing competition.

Jones has been featured on The YES Network, (Yankees Entertainment Sports – New York), V-103 FM (Atlanta),KUSATV, Rocky Mountain PBS, Mix100.3 Radio, Rocky Mountain News, Mangia, Colorado Expression, Architecture and Design of The West, Denver Business Journal, ColoradoProud and 5280, Denver’s Mile-High Magazine. He also has a book published – “Cooking up your Dreams”. For more on Chef Keith Jones visit

Pier Dining

4 Responses to "Three Days of Filming at Portofino Beach Resort with Chef Keith D. Jones!"

1 | Nigel P. Miguel said on November 29th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Thank you so much for allowing The Taste Of Belize with Keith Jones to film at your resort. The resort was an awesome back drop for the show and you and the staff at resort were incredible. Looking forward to seeing you guys during the Belize Film Festival.

Nigel Miguel
Belize Film Commissioner

2 | Keith Jones said on November 27th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Jan/Sandra/Portofino, you guys are the best! Thanks for making our filming such a joy. You have a wonderful resort and I hope we can generate more sales!!! Good luck and I look forward to the next time our paths cross.

All my best,

3 | Art Thomas said on November 27th, 2009 at 12:05 am

Dear Portofino, Thank you so much for helping make the ‘Taste of Belize with Chef keith Jones’ a major success. Your resort will add a wonderful element to the series. I look forward to our next visit. Warm regards, Art

4 | Sean said on November 26th, 2009 at 6:54 am

Keith Jones!! Congrats Jan and Sandra.

Your truly,

Your other chef,


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