Belize City, Belize – March 15, 2011 - The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) attended the seventh annual New York Times Travel Show, presented by American Express®, which was held from February 25th to 27th, 2011 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Belize Hotel Association’s President, Doug Thompson, and Leisa Carr, represented Belize, and approximately 500 exhibitors, from 150 countries around the world, represented their respective destinations.
“The New York Times Travel Show is an event that gives us the unique opportunity to showcase Belize on a world stage,” says Seleni Matus, Director of Tourism. “It was a spectacular international celebration where thousands of New York residents got a taste of true Belizean hospitality, culture and food as well as learning what we have to offer as a premier tourist destination.”
Show days gave visitors the opportunity to explore and make direct contact with destinations across the globe. They were also able to get great travel tips at the travel seminars, hosted by experts in the field, including Arthur and Pauline Frommer of Frommer’s Travel Guide, Rick Steves, America’s leading authority on European Travel; Julia Dimon, travel journalist and Host of TV’s Travel Junkie, and The New York Times editorial team.
Focus Sessions for the New York Trade Show included, Travel Media: Harnessing The Power of Social and Interactive Media to Reach Travelers; Specialization: Evolve and Profit - Transforming from Travel Agent to Travel Specialist; The Caribbean: For travel agents selling travel to the Caribbean or who would like to learn more about the area; and Adventure: Regional Meeting of the Adventure Travel Trade Association.
Six cultural stages featured live performances and culinary presentations from around the world, including a one-of-a-kind culinary stage presented by the Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The Belize booth had its own slew of cultural and culinary offerings as visitors sampled savory conch fritters and tamales, as well as our signature rums and pepper sauces while enjoying pulsating rhythms and dances from the Garifuna drummers and dancers, who reside in the New York area.
While in New York, BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Yanick Dalhouse, and Travel Trade Manager, Michelle Bowers, were able to conduct several desk-side visits with key Travel Trade & Media Executives including, Karen Kent, Vice President of Liberty GoGo; Elizabeth Marvin, New York Sales Director of Audubon Magazine; Jaqueline Gifford, Travel Editor of Brides Magazine; Nina Willdorf, Editor in Chief of Budget Travel and Amy Wilkins, Publisher of Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine and a host of others. Their presentations and discussions highlighted the Sustainable Tourism Project in San Pedro, the newly established Fort George Tourism Zone, Major developments in Belize, Belize Environmental news, the Belize Maya 2012 Campaign, Belize as a unique Wedding and Honeymoon Destination, Unique and Traditional Belizean dishes and Culinary Events in Belize.