The Belize Hotel Association attended two travel shows in January – the Toronto Travel Show, and the Vakantiebeurs show in Holland.
The Dutch show is one of Europe’s major travel shows, attracting around 20,000 visitors on each of the five days. Nick Davies, Chairman of BHA’s Marketing Committee, explained that BHA’s ongoing work in Europe, and particularly Holland, had raised awareness of Belize to a level where they could now afford to target people more effectively.
“We took a booth this year in the long-haul destination area of the show, close to the Nicaragua and Panama booths, creating a “Central America” section which allowed us to concentrate on quality enquiries, and generating strong sales prospects for BHA’s Global Marketing Initiative participants.”
BHA representative, Sandra van Noord, also took the opportunity to attend a TUI party in Amsterdam. She said,
“TUI is Europe’s leading travel group, operating in 180 countries worldwide and with 30 million customers. We’ve met with them several times at various travel events, and their interest in Belize is steadily growing to the point where they are now ready to visit Belize with a view to expanding their range of holidays. This is a particularly exciting development for us, with the prospect of accessing the huge potential the European market offers.”
In Canada, Robin McCutcheon and Steve Christensen represented the BHA in Toronto at the Toronto Ultimate Travel Show, and enticed visitors to the booth with maps, bookmarks, and the wonderful “Hot Mama’s fudge” give-aways.
“Belize had a great presence at the show, and we benefitted from a prime location opposite a huge tank with non-stop diving exhibitions from a dive club which is visiting Belize in March.
We find that many Canadians still associate Belize with diving, so this was a great opportunity to educate them in the diverse range of inland activities, and our banners featuring Maya sites and fishing really helped reinforce the message that Belize offers something for everyone.”
BHA’s representatives distributed over 1100 brochures at the two shows to high quality ‘prospects’, and generated 50 sales leads for GMI members. This brings the total brochures distributed to over 4000 and over 500 travel trade sales leads for participants since the start of the Global Marketing Initiative in November 2009.