Thursday, April 8, 2010

New BTB Director Unveils Plan for Game Change

The new Director of Tourism Seleni Matus was officially introduced to the media today. She takes over from Tracy Panton who held that post for ten years. Here’s what the Minister had to say about her as she unveiled a plan for game change.

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism
“We are confident that the sustainable knowledge and experience that Ms. Matus brings to the table in sustainable tourism, facilitation of complex multiple stakeholder initiatives and community outreach coupled with Mr. Garbutt’s long involvement and leadership in the tourism industry will together help us to look beyond business as usual and to chart a clear path.”

Seleni Matus, Director of Tourism
“One of the key priorities is this concept of result oriented planning. We need to very quickly, within the next two to three months clearly define an action plan that will articulate what the key activities and the recalibrated tactics are that will take us to the next level and position Belize as a leader in destination stewardship and really help us to refresh the marketing and branding activities that we have going.
This will start by developing what I keep referring to as the game changing action plan with the input of stakeholders. It will be a short term plan with a very clear focus. We will be ruthless at keeping on track. We have for very long tried to be everything for everyone and that has not worked and so we definitely need to revisit what we do and how we do and ensure that we are really investing in those activities that have the highest return for our industry.”
Lindsey Garbutt, Chairman – BTB
“I am very comfortable that with this board united as we are that we will move tourism forward in the way that the new Director just explained. We are committed to taking a new approach to how we move forward our tourism agenda, an approach that will be grounded stronger ties with the entire tourism stakeholders throughout the country.”
And while the new Chairman is with the game change, Matus also spoke specifically about the Tourism Board changing its focus to internet marketing and focusing on the high end market.
Seleni Matus,
“From a marketing standpoint we know importantly from the marketing intelligence we have that travelers, there are very clear shifts in how they are selecting destinations and how they plan their travel. Most of this target audience is very focused on using the internet as an integral part of their daily life so it is really to shift our advertising to be more in line with what these individuals are doing on a daily basis to put Belize in front of them in their daily lives. So it is really moving, shifting from print media to focus more on social networking, also doing more online advertising, and so that is a drastic shift in how marketing is done for Belize.”
Jules Vasquez,
“Is there any way of making Belize a not so expensive destination? If you look at those we are competing with, I would say just in this region, Belize is a lot more expensive.”
Seleni Matus,
“It is and that has been a recurring issue and concern from many camps. However we have seen that if we are very smart in really zooming in on segments of the market that really have the disposable income to have this rich experience that you find here in Belize that we still are able to increase heads in beds and plan for that sustainable growth.”
The game change plan will be ready in three to four months and Matus will report to the media in another 12 months.

Source: 7NewsBelize

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