Pennsylvania students had the opportunity of a lifetime this summer, participating in an educational trip led by Mansfield University professors in the beautiful Caribbean destination of Belize. Students of many different disciplines came together to gain a real world understanding of globalization, development, sustainability, political processes, and social diversity in the Field Research Abroad program. Belize’s rich multiculturalism and increasingly popular tourism industry makes it an incredible case-study. Students met with politicians, business leaders, Tourism board and NGO representatives, and University of Belize professors to experience an integrated approach to practical problems.
Students learned, through the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), about one of the country’s most successful economic industries - Tourism! The latest statistics show overnight growth rates for April, the second quarter of 2017, and the first half of 2017. BTB is implementing new strategies for exposure and sustainability, describing the numbers as indicators of progress, “They represent the successful efforts of the industry in marketing and promoting Belize as a growing, viable, and attractive tourism destination.”
One such indicator of this success is WestJet’s new direct flight announcement. WestJet’s new direct flight from Calgary, Canada will give Canadians’ expedient access to the country. Canadian travelers already enjoy direct flights from Toronto, but escaping the winters for a Caribbean beach is now even easier. AirCanada also announced direct flights starting to Belize. The BTB has been actively seeking to increase Belize’s market share in Canada and their hard work is paying off.
Another development of Belize’s tourism is the creation of plant-based cruises! These cruises aim to cater to Belize’s vegan and vegetarian visitors’ needs. With pre-approved menus, the cruises offer a stress-free alternative with all of the enjoyable experiences and accommodations that Belize boasts. The cruises provide yoga and meditation classes, film screenings, spas, guest speakers, and giveaways, all operating on industry-leading cruise ships like the "Carnival Miracle".
Whether you are visiting via cruise ship or the new direct flight from Calgary, don’t miss out on the music and art scene in Belize. Belize City offers an incredibly dynamic experience, such as the House of Culture, the Museum of Belize, the Bliss Centre for Performing Arts, and the Belize Centre for Art Education are all easily accessible from the city. Enjoy handicrafts, baskets, wooden furniture, slate carvings, or African, Garifuna, and Caribbean music all within the popular Belizean city.
Until next time,
Chairman and CEO