BTB hosts first annual Digital Marketing Summit

By Alexis R. Milan
Staff Reporter

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), this week hosted a Digital Marketing Summit and invited consultants from leading international brands to share expertise, mainly with tourism industry stakeholders, on the significance of developing digital-media strategies.

Mynor Larrieu, BTB Digital Marketing manager said the event was the first of its kind for the BTB, but significant especially for tourism stakeholders.

The objective, he said, was to help stakeholders build capacity within the country, specifically in the area of digital and social-media promotion of the Belizean brand.
Larrieu said the BTB was very selective when choosing consultants for the event because the Board wanted to ensure that the stakeholders received lectures from top-level practitioners in the field. He added that some of the consultants in attendance were Nikon certified photographers. Some of the other consultants represent networks and firms, including National Geographic, MTV, Google and Expedia.

Michael Chatfield, creative strategist from New York, said his presentation titled, “Rock the Boat: Disruptive creative strategies to attract and thrill the new breed of traveller”, was geared toward preparing stakeholders for the rapidly changing online audience.
He added that his presentation highlights the need to capitalize on the opportunities presented by social-media by targeting travellers who communicate and share experiences digitally.

Belize, he said, has relatively low brand-awareness and implementing digital-media, social-media and website strategies could help to bridge that gap.
According to Chatfield, keeping up with digital media is more important than ever because consumers increasingly rely on these platforms for reviews, recommendations and information when making travel decisions.
Chatfield added that implementing such strategies does require some financial resources but said a plan could be developed on just about any budget.

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