By Ingrid Fernandez
Capitalizing on popular social media trends, as they have done before, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), is inviting comedian Steve Harvey to host the 2016 Costa Maya Festival in August.
The BTB extended the invitation to Harvey posting on his Twitter account: “We all make mistakes. You handled yours with class. Would you host our next pageant?”
International media publications, including the New York Daily News featured the invitation calling Belize “a Central American hot spot”, stating: “Steve Harvey flubbed hosting Miss Universe in Vegas, but he can redeem himself in Belize.”
Deadline Hollywood News also featured the BTB’s invitation extended to Harvey to host the Costa Maya 2016 stating: “The Belize Tourism Board also is doing its part to keep Harvey in the pageant-hosting biz…the board felt Harvey would be a great host after watching Sunday’s show.”
Harvey drew major criticism this week after a blunder at the 2015 Miss Universe beauty pageant when he confused the firstrunner-up with the winner, wrongly announcing Miss Colombia and not Miss Philippines as the winner.
After Colombian candidate, Adriana Gutierrez had been crowned, Harvey apologized and announced the mistake. Immediately cheers turned to jeers and Harvey has been the subject of many jokes.
The BTB has been actively promoting the country as a major tourism destination on social media as part of the Board’s digital marketing strategy. This past October the Board capitalized on a change of rules in American National Football League (NFL), to which players were struggling to adjust, by inviting the first NFL player to miss a conversion kick to vacation in Belize.
It is unclear whether any NFL kicker took the Board up on the offer, or if Harvey will accept the invitation to host next year’s International Costa Maya Festival but the BTB continues to employ its focus on digital and social media marketing.