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Hopkins: The Belize Tourism Board hosts Media Familiarization trip Print E-mail
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Written by By Jem Smith   
Friday, 01 September 2017 00:00

The Belize Tourism Board hosted representatives from eight media houses in Belize on a familiarization trip to Hopkins with the intent of promoting Belize as a tourist destination. Aside from making Belize appealing to foreigners, BTB also sought to make it enticing to locals. That’s where the weekend fit in with my media colleagues and me.

Our adventure started on Friday, August 25, 2017 when 13 of us left the BTB office in Belize City en route to the Mayflower Bocawina National Park. The drive of over 2 hours was met with plentiful conversation (and naps) that immediately created a bond with those in both vans. The tour began with a hike and ended with a refreshing waterfall rappel.

After leaving Bocawina, just outside of Hopkins Village, lunch was in the village itself. The very late lunch was worth the wait. After lunch, the groups headed to Jaguar Reef Lodge and Almond Beach, sectors of Viva Belize, a hotel group and adventure company that has been in Belize for over 20 years.

The rest of the trip proceeded with downtime, time the media personnel used to bond and rest, a day of snorkeling at Silk Caye with Splash Dive Center, a dive shop based in the Placencia peninsula, eating at iconic restaurants in Hopkins, and visiting Hopkins Bay Resort before returning to Belize City on Sunday, August 26, 2017.

The Hopkins experience combines culture, food, water and inland adventures, as well as the locality of being just a few hours away from the city. Jocelle Stephen, Marketing and Public Relations Manager at BTB, was very excited to share BTB’s proactive way of marketing Belize as a destination to both foreigners and locals. Two years ago, BTB launched the Local Belizean Traveler Campaign where the hashtag “#BelizeanTraveler” was promoted to amplify the awareness of Belize’s own tourism product.

The aim of such a campaign is to enhance domestic tourism and to sensitize each and every person to the beauty right within our country. One lesson that resounded with us was to take our time to learn and spend within our own country instead of always being eager to spend and explore other countries.