Fox News’ recent pick of The Lodge at Chaa Creek as a one of the world’s most outstanding jungle and rainforest retreats marks the third time the Belize eco resort has been featured by the US news agency this year, and is further proof that the tiny Caribbean country is coming into its own as a premier travel destination, marketing administrator Larry Waight said today.
“This is obviously great news for Chaa Creek, but more importantly, it’s a real boost to the entire Belizean tourism industry, as it highlights our growing acceptance as a world class travel destination,” Mr Waight said.
“For years Belize has been struggling to gain recognition in a very competitive industry, where the more established players with larger marketing budgets and name recognition have traditionally dominated. For example, everyone knows where places like Jamaica, Barbados, Mexico and Costa Rica are, but until recently, most people would be hard pressed to tell you where Belize was, even though we have the second largest barrier reef and the largest atolls in the world, a plethora of Maya temples and archaeology sites, huge pristine rainforests and the Caribbean’s most culturally diverse population.
“Belize only gained independence some 30 years ago, so as a new developing nation with fewer resources than the bigger Caribbean and Central American destinations, we struggled to stand out. Being featured by respected travel authorities such as Fox News, CNN, Condé Nast, Lonely Planet and others is making a huge difference.
“It goes to show that a low key but high quality presence can still overcome big budgets and advertising campaigns,” he said.
The April 11 Fox News feature, “7 stunning jungle and rainforest retreats” which also highlighted resorts from St Lucia, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala, stated:
Chaa Creek, one of Belize’s first eco-lodges, has evolved from its humble beginnings as a working farm into a premier luxury retreat. This sophisticated operation includes rustic-luxe, thatched-roof cottages, wonderful service, and modern amenities such as an infinity pool with jungle views and a full-service spa. The riverside setting on a private rainforest reserve is phenomenal, and myriad tours and outdoor activities are offered through the hotel. To top it off, room rates are fair for what you get — and there are even budget accommodations available at Macal River Camp, located on the property.
Previous features in various Fox News articles this year also listed Chaa Creek as one of the “Best spring break value travel destinations,” and as one of five recommended warm weather destinations for winter months.
“Everyone in Belize’s travel and tourism industry has been working tremendously hard in recent years to gain recognition. We all know that Belize has something very special to offer and that it’s really just a matter of making the world aware of it, so features like this benefit everyone, from the largest resorts to the smallest tour operators, restaurants, guides and pretty much the entire country.
“It’s been a bit of a David and Goliath situation, and now we’re beginning to feel like ‘the little country that could.’ It’s very satisfying for a lot of people,” Mr Waight said.