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Saturday,  July 13, 2024 7:56 AM 

Agents spend an evening in Belize

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  •   02-02-2015  11:31 am

Agents spend an evening in Belize

With the snow piling up outside, travel agents got a break from the winter weather courtesy of the Belize Tourism Board and its partners, as they hosted the third and final stop of their 2015 Canadian road show.

Agents got the opportunity to speak directly with several representatives from Belize’s travel industry, including hotels, resorts and tour operators, learning about what the destination has to offer clients. Winding up the tour in Toronto, the show also made stops in Montreal and Ottawa earlier this week.

According to Deborah Gilharry, Senior Travel Trade Officer with the Belize Tourism Board, the response from agents has been strong as more Canadians discover the Central American country; while the U.S. contributes nearly 70 per cent of Belize’s annual arrivals, Canadian travellers make up nearly 12 per cent with Europe contributing just slightly more than that figure.

Describing Belize as “Jacques Cousteau meets Indiana Jones,” Gilharry said that while many agents are aware of the numerous diving and snorkeling opportunities (afforded by aquatic features such as the Belize Barrier Reef and the Great Blue Hole landmark, or natural phenomena such as an annual whale shark migration each spring), many are surprised to learn about the numerous nature and wildlife travel opportunities available, ranging from jungle trekking/ziplining to animal sanctuaries for creatures ranging from birds to howler monkeys.

“Many have thought that Belize is only about diving, and they’re unaware that we have nature as well,” said Gilharry, adding that these aspects of Belize draw many Canadian tourists. “Belize has it all – it’s the best of both worlds in one vacation.”

In addition, Gilharry said that with Belize as the former centre of the Mayan empire, the country’s history and culture also draws many Canadians; a homestay program teaching travellers about traditional ways of life in Belize and a chocolate-making tour are some particular cultural highlights for travellers to take note of.

“It’s a small country, but packed with adventure and experiences,” she said.

More about Belize:

- A former British colony, Belize is the smallest country – at 8,867 square miles - in Central America where English is the first language.

- U.S. currency is accepted in Belize.

- With an average temperature of 26 degrees Celsius, the peak travel season is from November to May; Gilharry said that during the months of September and October, some hotels may close for seasonal maintenance.

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