Destination Belize is the flagship magazine for Belize's tourist industry. It's what guests find in their hotel rooms and it's what Belize's tourism promoters and vendors hand out at travel agencies and trade shows worldwide, basically to say: "This is Belize."
But this year, there's a change. The 2011 edition was a home grown effort. Since it was launched 15 years ago, the magazine has been published by Ulrich Communications, a US based company. But this year, the BTIA wanted a fresh feel and approach so they brought in Idea Lab studios to give them that fresh look and feel with an international flair.
They seem to have delivered and the final product was launched today the Radisson. Publisher Damien Solano told us what's inside:...
Damien Solano, publisher
"It's a very large piece editorially visually now with extension with the new media like the iPad, CD-ROM, the website. It actually expands the reach of that content which this year as you saw in the presentation. We are very proud of the people that we have contributing in terms of writers and the stories that we have chosen hopefully to convince people that Belize is a top destination and encourage them to plan their vacation here."
"We wanted people to share their experiences in Belize and bring that vivid travel writing to potential visitors and you will note in the stories that it is story telling about travel. It's not about describing what we have in Belize and the basic information that you would find in an encyclopedia. It's actually very vivid documentation of people's experiences which are very rewarding reading we hope."
"This year the BTIA decided that they wanted to do it within Belize - to have more control over a lot the aspects that come together when putting together a magazine and we were glad to be selected and I think the BTIA is pleased with what we have produced. I think that one of the concerns from BTIA was that the content over those 15 years became stagnant. The visuals were not compelling enough, so I think that's the biggest improvement. You will not see a photograph in this publication that has been used before, it's all new imagery. The new media concepts like the website, the iPad access and all of the other interactive media are huge improvement as well as the editorial that we discuss before. It's not just you typical blurb about the destinations. It's about experiences and very engaging stories that are told."
"When you have people that have passion for what they do and love for this country. This is the result that you get. We have people like myself who love photography and technology and this kind of creative process. You have an excellent graphic designer putting her love into this project. You have the people like Janelle who have a passion for words and stories. So it all comes together, it's really a good collaboration."
A total of sixty thousand copies of the magazine will be distributed locally and internationally worldwide.
The cost of printing and publication is underwritten by the BTIA with substantial sponsor support and the magazine is distributed free at hotels, tradeshows, and Belize's embassies worldwide.
This year it is also available in a number of digital formats - and yes, there's an app for it.