While proving that success can go hand-in-hand with sustainability
Maybe it’s not exactly going from zero to hero, but having watched Belize evolve from barely known British Honduras to one of the world’s more trendy travel destinations has been a somewhat surprising and very satisfying experience.
It really wasn’t all that long ago when the mention of Belize would result in blank stares. Then again, with only a couple of weekly flights, no real tourism industry to speak of, and sunburnt British soldiers making up the bulk of visitors, the unfamiliarity was understandable.
But now the mere mention of Belize brings smiles, with many people either having been, or planning to visit. And with more airlines competing to carry an increasing number of visitors from a growing list of North American cities, thus making a Belizean vacation easier and more affordable, the Little Country That Could is becoming more popular all the time.
If Belize could talk, it could be forgiven for stealing Will Ferrell’s Anchorman line:
“I’m kind of a big deal…”
So it shouldn’t be surprising that we’re seeing and hearing so much about Belize this year.
For example, cable news giant CNBC featured Belize in an April 15, 2018 article, “Vacation Seekers Flock To Central American Tropics…” just two months after a CNBC February 25 article, “7 English Speaking and Picture-Perfect Places For Retirement” extolled Belize’s virtues as a retirement destination.
National Geographic has long been an enthusiastic fan, and the love affair continues with Belize being listed in the coveted “Best Winter Trips of 2018” list, and with a lengthy April 11, 2018 feature on the success of national efforts to safeguard the Belize Great Barrier Reef.
And, closer to home, National Geographic awarded Chaa Creek first place honours at the 2017 World Legacy Awards in Berlin. A National Geographic Traveller magazine article on Chaa Creek had this to say:
“What was once a rustic outpost has blossomed into a world-class eco-resort, organic farm, and nature reserve that helped jump-start eco-tourism and turn Belize into a haven for adventure travel.”
And later this year National Geographic Expeditions will be hosting a ten-day “Belize Kayaking and Jungle Adventure”
Those travel gurus at Lonely Planet also have an affinity for Belize, with inclusion in their “Best In Travel 2018” list. This was after picking Belize last year as a “Top 10 Destination 2017.”
And don’t get us started on TripAdvisor, with overwhelmingly positive traveller reviews on Belize and Chaa Creek growing stronger every year.
Please forgive us if we seem to be blowing the Belize horn and waving the blue, white and red flag (with that lovely motto of Sub Umbra Floreo, or, “Under The Shade I Flourish”), but it’s been wonderful to watch this friendly little country get its just desserts.
It’s a success that’s especially well deserved when you consider Belize’s dramatic rise and development took place alongside a strong national commitment to protect the natural environment and support local communities. With over a quarter of her land under some sort of protection, recent moratoriums on oil drilling and commercial fish trolling near the Belize Great Barrier Reef, legislation to protect ancient Maya antiquities, support for sustainable tourism and other green initiatives, The Little Country That Could continues to show the world what it can do – make sustainability go hand-in-hand with success.
And that is kind of a big deal…