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Social networks and the Romantic Revival in Belize

1 November 2011 One Comment

The well-publicized Belizean honeymoon of Bachelorette star DeAnna Pappas and Steven Stagliano represents two emerging trends in travel – romance adventure and social networking word of mouth – according to a major Belizean resort’s marketing administrator.

And, as this recent example shows, the two trends are often linked.

Chaa Creek’s marketing administrator Larry Waight said that the eco resort has seen a rise in what it calls “romance adventure packages”, where couples opt to mix their celebrations with tropical adventures such as exploring Maya temples and archaeology sites, diving the Caribbean and Belize Barrier Reef, canoeing jungle rivers, horseback or mountain bike excursions and other activities.

“Of course, the emphasis is still on relaxation and spending that special time together,” he said.
Mr Waight said that an interesting aspect of this trend has been the use of social media to spread positive word of mouth.

“This allows family and friends to share in the experience while also promoting off the beaten track places like Belize through online networking,” Mr Waight said, pointing to the current publicity the Pappas Stagliano honeymoon is receiving through the couple’s use of Twitter.

It means that we’re getting more adventurous people who really enjoy what we have to offer and then spreading positive word of mouth through their social media. This is good news for more off-the beaten track locations such as Belize that offer something special.

“I’m having coffee with my husband overlooking the ocean feeling so truly blessed!” the new Mrs Stagliano tweeted, following her new husband’s tweet of, “You better Belize it!”

The couple were married in DeAnna Pappas’ home state of Georgia on October 22 before heading off to Belize for their honeymoon, keeping their fans abreast of their whereabouts and activities through tweets such as, “We beat out (Hurricane) Rina! It’s gorgeous here today!” and, “We just finished our couples massage on our private dock ooohhh lala!”

“It’s an interesting phenomenon. We’re seeing more couples choosing Chaa Creek wedding packages that offer options like exchanging vows in ancient Maya ceremonial spots, or Belize honeymoon packages that combine rainforest experiences with Caribbean beach holidays. We then realised that these are also the kind of people who tend to use social media quite a bit.

“It means that we’re getting more adventurous people who really enjoy what we have to offer and then spreading positive word of mouth through their social media. This is good news for more off-the beaten track locations such as Belize that offer something special. It also means that we’re being promoted in the best possible way – by happy customers.

“It’s great to be attracting a new kind of traveling romantic and having them tell the world about it,” Mr Waight said.

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Photo credit: Getty Images


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