This July 19th, 2019, the Belize Tourism Board held its 5th Digital Marketing Summit at the Best Western Plus in Belize City. The annual event, which counts with the attendance of a variety of industry members—from luxury resorts to bed & breakfasts, came together to learn about the latest trends and secrets in the digital marketing arena and how to implement aggressive strategies in today’s competitive and ever-changing market.
The event featured a varied set of panel discussions that addressed the current state of digital marketing and plans looking ahead to the future. Highlighted topics included Social Media, Influencer Marketing, Digital Marketing, and Brand Strategy with the presence of:
- Social Media: George Fiddler (Creative Director, ICF Next), Kristin Fuhrmann-Simmons (Digital Story Teller, KFS Media), Melissa Byers (Chief Digital Trainer Officer, Bootcamp Digital)
- Influencer Marketing: Dora Maduro (Online Market Analyst, Copa Airlines), Luis Carranza (Dir. of Client Experience & Business Development, Meltwater), Eylul Savas (Digital Marketing Consultant & Influencer)
- Digital Marketing: Maynor Larrieu (Associate Market Manager, Expedia Group), Rasheed Girvan (Regional Digital Manager, Yellow), Sergio Pajaro (Account Manager Central America & Caribbean, Google)
- Brand Strategy: Marconi Leal (Deputy Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Digi), Sandy Lohr (CEO, Match Craft), JC Cuellar (Digital Communications Manager, Tropic Air)
The afternoon session introduced workshops on the emphasized themes and provided attendees with the opportunity to learn first-hand from the experts on how to carry out and get comfortable with the strategies and insights from the morning session.
Key findings from the Digital Marketing Summit involved the impact Social Media plays in the traveler’s journey and the credibility an efficient social media presence adds to companies; for instance, there are approximately more than 2.77 billion social media users around the world-- 40% of which use social media to influence their travel decisions. Other findings included the role Influencer Marketing plays as a tool for promoting travel destinations; especially now since more than 181 million users are using ad blockers, a feature that makes it difficult for businesses to reach their target markets.
The Summit ended with a networking cocktail hour where the hoteliers and industry partners were able to mingle with panel speakers and discuss the day’s events.
Thank you to the Belize Tourism Board for this great initiative and providing industry partners with a learning and enhancing experience for the betterment of business and marketing operations.