How Does a Travel Agent See Belize? A Look at a Recent “FAM Trip”

I LOVE to research a trip on the internet…to thumb through travel guides…it has never once occurred to me to visit a travel agent.   And while the industry has consolidated considerably since people have been so easily able to buy airline tickets and hotel rooms on the world wide web, it still remains the primary way to book cruises and package tours.  I also imagine that agents are used heavily by high end clients and for business travel.

All that said, I have always been very curious about how they are used to book vacations in Belize.  SO…when Luigi of Magnum Belize Travel asked me if he could send me photos and a summary about his most recent FAM trip (a familiarization trip to get a look at a region) with a bunch of travel agents, I said sure.

Though I have never met him or worked with his company (and no…I did not get anything free for this post) – here is a look at the trip.  Maybe if I’m interested, others are too?  How does your agent see Belize?

Please let me know in the comments if you use a travel agent and why?

AUG 10

Magnum Belize Tours hosted their 3rd travel agent FAM for 9 premier agents.

welcome-to-belize

They were welcomed by Magnum staff upon arrival to Belize City where they started their 6-day adventure.

We started in Western Belize – in the Cayo District.

We were greeted with warm welcomes from our 1st hosts – the owners and staff of beautiful Chaa Creek Lodge.

butterfly-farm-at-chaa-creek
The Butterfly farm at Chaa Creek

Presentations were made by the owners Mick & Lucy Fleming and the staff along with cocktails and snacks.  We felt right at home.

Following a wonderful dinner some of the agents took part in Creatures of the Night tour wearing head lamps. We spotted a lot of different wildlife onsite at Chaa Creek Lodge.

AUG 11

Site inspection at Cahal Pech Resort and stopping at Cahal Pech ruins for a climb up the historic ruins site.

agents-at-cahal-pech-resort
exploring-cahal-pech-ruins

Enjoying lunch at Mystic River Resort where home-made goat cheese delicacies were part of this wonderful meal.  Coconut cheesecake dipped in chocolate!

lunch-at-mystic-river-resort

Stopping at Mariposa Jungle Lodge– where owner Sharyn Brinker was awarded our 2016 “Outstanding Service award”

sharyn-mariposa-lodge-award

Our 2nd host Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge – greeted us with warm smiles and a beautiful view.

sleeping-giant-group-photo

Norma Perez was also presented with our 2016 Outstanding Service award. Dinner was amazing.

AUG 12

charter-tropic-air-flightOff to Placencia we flew Tropic Air from Belmopan to Placencia and were greeted by Chabil Mar Villas.

welcome-to-chabil-marA nice lunch on the beach overlooking the sea was a time to sit back and take in the beauty of the area.

chabil-marlunch-at-chabil-mar

Monkey River tour – we saw wildlife of all sorts – Howler monkeys, Iguana, crocodile, birds and a manatee.

monkey-river-tour

We took advantage of the free shuttle into Placencia Village provided by Chabil Mar Villas and went to a local eatery “The Tipsy Tuna” Great food and service!

tipsy-tuna

AUG 13

Once again flying with Tropic Air to Belize City for our connection over to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye where we were greeted by Ramon’s Village staff.

Lunch at a local eatery El Fogon and then off for snorkel trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley.

Dinner at Blue Water Grill & dancing to live music at Fido’s, a local hot spot

AUG 14

Full day of site inspections with our caravan of 4 golf carts starting south of town – at Pelican Reef Villas and Victoria House.

Lunch at The Phoenix Resort where they were presented with Outstanding Service Award in the Resort category

the-phoenix-award

Finishing the day with site inspections at Grand Caribe & Mata Chica Beach Resort & Spa.

Dinner at Ramon’s Village “On a Stone” which was wonderful experience cooking your own food on a hot stone while wearing a bright orange bib.

hot-stone-cooking-at-ramon%27s-village-1

Presenting again our “Outstanding Award to Dedra Hill reservations manager in the US office.

dedra-at-ramon%27s-village-award

AUG 15

Time to go home. A great time was enjoyed by all!

Outstanding Service Awards were given to:

Sharyn Brinker – Owner of Mariposa Jungle Lodge

Norma Perez – Reservation Manager at Viva Belize Group

Dedra Hill – Reservation Manager at Ramon’s Village US office

The Phoenix Resort – all resort is awarded

Agent Testimonials

The last day we had the agents to fill out a survey to get a feedback about this FAM and Belize in general. All the surveys showed they really enjoyed the country, the people they met, the service, the food. They also learned a lot about the diversity of each area and the things you can do. Below are some of the best testimonials:

“Priceless, very informative, great attention to details. Loved Belize & Magnum Tours. Really learned so much about the country and how to explain it better to my clients”

“It was a great way to learn about Belize. Now I feel more confident with selling this destination. I liked that we got to explore several different areas and experiences in one destination. You never know what you are getting into or how you feel about it until you are there… Everything totally exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait to be back!”

And there you go.  A bit about how your travel agent sees Belize.  Interesting to me 🙂  And for more about the resorts and restaurants mentioned, please check out my posts about the ones I’ve visited.






Be the first to get the Scoop AND receive my weekly newsletter...

  • SPmQQse

    hmmmmm…….are any of those resorts , owned by ….Belizeans….?

    • Jim

      At least some are and Belizeans work and benefit from all of them. When a visitor arrives in addition to paying a resort which may not be owned by a Belizean they spend money in the local shops, on taxis in restaurants which are primarily owned by locals. In addition whether the resort was originally built by a Belizean or not the individual units are in general owned by foreigners. The association is controlled by them and they get most of the financial benefits for the room fees and monies spent on the property. These units cost from a few hundred thousand each to a few million each. How many locals could afford that? However because these resorts exist other people come to Belize to stay in them and spend money in the country.
      So your point is?

      • SPmQQse

        bla bla bla bla…….
        …….
        i didn’t make a point…i asked a ques.
        my 2nd ques. to you, is….. are you, a foreigner…and do you have a job, in belize ?

        • Jim

          The answer to your first question: All of the resorts were built by Belizeans and some on that list were financed by Belizeans. The resorts which are condos then sell the condo mostly to foreigners. Once that happens the condo owner becomes a part owner of the resort. When all the condo units are sold the group which owns the condos which may include both Belizeans and foreigners take control and form a Home Owners Association. The HOA then makes the rules and governs the operation. That is the way most of them work with some variations.
          Your answer of bla bla bla means you want to ignore the realities of how things work in the world. I guess there are a lot of people who live in their minds in a fantasy world and not the world as it exist. If you doubt any points of my explanation just explain how and why I’m wrong.
          The second question has no bearing on what we are talking about and I have already answered that in a previous post. I don’t plan on a further explanation. Have a great day, I think I’ll work on my water park plans.

          • SPmQQse

            HAHAHAHAHAAAAA
            you appear to me….to be an idiot.

          • Jim

            ” SPmQQse

            HAHAHAHAHAAAAA
            you appear to me….to be an idiot.

            8:20 p.m., Sunday Sept. 11 | Other comments by SPmQQse”
            I’m I an idiot or do I have a very low I.Q.? Not a very intelligent answer but about what I would expect. Have a good night.

          • SPmQQse

            HAHAHAAHHAAAAA