Carrie Miller and Chris Taylor, two world-renowned National Geographic writers, are in Belize for a week-long working visit sponsored by the Belize Tourism Board. Belize is the ninth country the team has visited with forty-one to go. While in Belize, the team is expected to visit top Belize attractions. The Belize Tourism Board held a press conference where the media met the team and Taylor shared where they will be visiting.
Chris Taylor – Editor, National Geographic: “I did some research and decided to look at the southern reefs, so South Water Caye in particular and the area around it mainly because it’s a very good dive site overall so there is a wide range of different diving possibilities so there is a wide range of diving for more and less skilled people and also because it is a little quieter now. Divers want to get their money’s worth when they spend money, so they will look for the best places to spend their money and the best place is usually a place where there is a marine park because in a marine park there is a lot to see. So when divers decide where to spend their money on a vacation, that’s mainly what they’re going to look at, “where’s the place I could see the best wildlife.” And so from our research, that is. have I determined where we would like to go at the Bel ize and where we would like to focus. Part of the project is also trying to find the balance between diving and travel. So when we are looking for locations they may not be the absolute best dive location because most of the time these dive sites are served by houseboats where people are on a boat for a whole week to go out, but if you are traveling with a non-diving partner or in a group where some people are diving and some people are not living on board, this is not really an option as non-divers will have nothing to do and will be stuck on a boat to be able to read a book on the bridge and that’s not something we look at. These kinds of destinations definitely have their merit, but I think Belize for cruises and for avid divers who just want to dive and do nothing else, Belize is already on the radar. I think what we are doing is promoting Belize as a full travel destination rather than just the diving parts so I think the blue hole is something that almost every diver in the world is already familiar with and most divers are already dreaming of coming.
Tourism is a major source of income for Belize; however, Miller and Taylor stressed the need for tourism destinations to strike an equal balance between promotion and conservation.
Carrie Miller – Editor, National Geographic: “Conservation is such an important part of tourism that they go hand in hand and it’s a double-edged sword because tourists put a lot of pressure on destinations but they also bring a lot of income and that is the reason for which destinations are popular but National Geographic recently launched I think it was a big campaign on May 18th called “Planet or Plastic” to try to raise awareness of the fact that the pressure we are putting on places. Almost a million plastic bottles are sold every minute around the world and they have nowhere to go, so what happens on earth is on the water and it’s up to destinations to try to protect. what they have and educating the children and getting local buy-in to that protection which in turn attracts tourists and Belize has always done a very good job with its marine parks and marine protection and it has opportunities to be world leaders in this space but it is still a major effort. However, if Belize can become a world leader in this space, it will attract even more tourists, so it’s a really delicate balance.
Chris Taylor – Editor, National Geographic: “The important thing then is to manage this tourism in such a way as not to put too much pressure on the ecosystem, and then to destroy it again. So it is a question of finding that balance and finding a good way to manage it to future generations, and to have a long-term sustainable tourism industry with it.
BTB pointed out in a press release that the visit of the National Geographic team, in addition to attracting more attention to Belize, is another example of the effective promotional efforts of both the BTB and its strategic partners to promote Belize as “the world’s premier curious destination. ”. The team’s travel experience in Belize will be featured in the National Geographic Dive Travel Guide to be published by Random House in 2020.