Mr. Oliver Darién del Cid, Belize’s Ambassador to Mexico was in San Pedro on Monday, August 31, 2015, as he hosted a media and travel agency group on a familiarization trip to the country. This was done in collaboration with the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) in order to increase the traffic of Mexican national for tourism purposes to Belize.
Ambassador Oliver del Cid, commented that this was the first ‘fam trip’ organized from Mexico City. “There are a lot of people who come to Belize from Mexico, to the casinos to the Free Zone and a lot of Mexicans think that is all there is to Belize,” commented del Cid.
Ambassador del Cid stressed that the level of tourism traffic from Mexico to Belize is maybe 5,000 to 6,000 per year, but that the potential to unlock a larger market is tremendous.
“There are over 100Mil people throughout the country and just Mexico City alone has almost 25Mil,” stated del Cid. “If we can get just a fraction of that number coming down to Belize that will really boost the industry here.”
This is the most recent initiative by the Belize Embassy in Mexico, but there have been other in recent months. The Embassy of Belize, Mexico has established both a web and Facebook page that are generating a lot of interest. Del Cid indicated that the Facebook Page has generated more than 75,000 likes in about nine months and that they see it as an important platform in promoting the flow of tourism.
At the end of the day he stressed that linking up the private sector is of most importance as it is where deals and alliances are made; thus the reason the fam trip was organized.
“The BTIA was approached by the Belizean ambassador in Mexican and the focus of the fam trip is to feature all of what Belize has to offer, but due to time constraints this trip mainly focused on the northern part of the county,” stated John Burgos, Executive Director BTIA. “The trip is set to promote and showcase Belize’s culture, people, cuisine and the destination as a whole.”
Places visited during the fam trip included Corozal (Santa Rita Archaeological site, Corozal Bay, Cerros Maya site), Orange Walk (Lamanai Archaeological site), Caye Caulker (Sunset cruise and tour of the island) and San Pedro (tour of the island and visit to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley).
Del Cid concluded by stating that a medium term goal for the Embassy is to try to get a Mexican airline to fly in directly from Mexico City to Belize, maybe twice a week. The embassy sees a potential market and will push to promote it.
“We are very thankful for the BTIA and its membership, they were very supportive of the idea and they really embraced it and backed us up all the way,” concluded del Cid.