Just this week, my social media blew up with an article from Bloomberg News.
It was everywhere.
I clicked immediately – there is a ton of growth around Belize and on the largest and most visited island, Ambergris Caye.
The article talked about how Belize has been underdeveloped and overlooked in the past – the country, despite the ethic diversity, is “surprisingly one-note”.
We are now on the rise, says the article. Our Caribbean charms are now being appreciated more. Shifting from the land of travelers in REI and Birkenstocks, we now attract Louis Vuitton.
Now I do understand that places change and I do understand that San Pedro is not going to freeze in time – forever the spot of my first visit. Life doesn’t work like that. I don’t expect it to.
But I also cringe when an article is THIS FAR OFF BASE. One that makes me wager that the writer has never been to our country at all.
One note? Belize is THE MOST DIVERSE EXPERIENCE that I’ve ever had anywhere. And I’ve heard that from so many visitors. Ethnically, geographically…caving, 2nd largest reef in the world, rivers, atolls. I mean…come on.
I never want to lose sight of what makes Belize different.
We also have some amazing, world renowned luxury resorts on Ambergris Caye and country-wide already in place.
Luxury resorts are a fine thing. I mean shucks, I’d love to live at a luxury resort. They are even better when they involve a huge amount of planning, environmental awareness and expertise and the accountability of a well respected, worldwide names like Leonardo Di Caprio or the Four Seasons.
(Though in the article, the Four Seasons, likens Belize to the Maldives. The Maldives – a dream destination for many – is a coral atoll, far from any land mass, with ultra-high-end, exclusive, all-inclusive over the water resorts.)
But saying, critically, that Belize has “suffered from a reputation as a backpacker location” just disparages everything that is going on here. And why Belize is on so many travelers’ bucket lists.
I’m not trying to negatively portray those who contributed to this article – I fully understand the need to broadcast your project to Bloomberg’s vast and well-heeled audience – but the article as a whole lacks knowledge of Belize as a current destination. And what makes Belize awesome.
When a marketing pitch is interspersed with questionable assertions and google-able falsities…it diminishes the overall message.
Placencia International Airport coming soon?
Belize is outside the hurricane belt?
I guess I just felt the need to stick up for the country I love. PLEASE let me know what you think.
* I don’t want to start a contest of “what Belize needs more”. The need for hospital, more schools, better infrastructure, water pressure that reaches the second floor is a different discussion. Hoteliers and developers are primarily here for a different reason. We can only hope that a rising tide (more money flowing into the country) can lift all boats.