The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is the government body responsible for the licensing and marketing of the small Central American nation’s tourism industry. It supports tourism-affiliated businesses through many initiatives, programs, and policies. Meltwater media monitoring and analytics provide the BTB with a huge assist.
Situated on the Caribbean coast, Belize is a little slice of heaven. Its 200-mile-long reef has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and abundant wildlife and plant species provide rich fodder for eco-tourism. Interest in Belize is growing, but for all its beauty, its tourism authority faces challenges. These include a limited budget and the need to do more with less.
The BTB’s Perry Bodden says, “Last year was particularly challenging because of all the storms that hit the Caribbean. Nature may have spared us, but we were still faced with spreading the message that Belize was open for business.”
When the BTB went looking for a media communications tool, they had a good idea of what they needed. Tracking what news outlets were saying about the nation tucked just beneath Mexico was a priority, especially as it related to the Board’s initiatives. Metrics were considered critical for helping them determine where they should allocate their limited funds. Identifying and reaching out to news outlets that had written about Belize in the past was also important. And, because social plays such a large role today in generating buzz around specific places and experiences, the BTB wanted to track and evaluate what influencers said on social platforms.
We knew the value of promoting Belize through social media platforms like Instagram, so we decided social media metrics, along with traditional coverage, were a must-have.Perry Bodden Digital Marketing Officer, Belize Tourism Board
Today the BTB uses Meltwater to capture every mention relating to tourism in Belize as well as key themes they need to keep track of. To support their own tourism industry, they’ve become active participants in both the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Central American Travel Agency. Each presents new opportunities for measuring the impacts of their marketing. Perry Bodden says, “A major reason why we use Meltwater is for the social media and news listening tools. The reports sent to the platform keep us informed of all our mentions, and of the industry in general.”
The BTB uses Meltwater to monitor before, during, and after their event. An example of this is their annual Reef Raffle. Proceeds are shared between the Belize Barrier Reef and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Bodden says, “We extract all the insights we obtain from Meltwater to not only learn if the conservation message was shared on social media and online news outlets, but to also ensure we use effective messaging that resonates with our audience in our next event.”
This interest in the future is coupled with an interest in the past. The BTB is using retroactive searches to identify people and outlets they may have an opportunity to renew a relationship with.
After looking at the mentions in the platform, we can reach out to partners that mentioned us so that they can still post about our initiatives.
Capture and measure mentions related to them and the key themes they are tracking
Uncover insights that help determine where they should allocate their limited funds
Build a media list of journalists receptive to their message and secure key coverage
"A huge challenge in the past was tracking relevant mentions about our country in general, not just one specific word. Every important mention that includes the word Belize can affect our tourism positively or negatively, and the ability to fine-tune our keywords in Meltwater makes a major difference." - Maynor Larrieu, Digital Marketing Manager, Belize Tourism Board
"Meltwater’s platform allows us to standardize our metrics across all of our events and initiatives. For example, we use one dashboard to measure all the PR efforts—digital and social—within our tourism industry. Making data easy to track and comprehend is what every tourism board dreams of, not just us." - Maynor Larrieu, Digital Marketing Manager, Belize Tourism Board
“We look at the mentions we see in Meltwater and reach out to news organizations that wrote about one or more of our events, to encourage them to continue spreading the message of protecting the reefs. The platform makes this easy because it shows us in real time the top publications by volume of coverage.” - Perry Boden, Digital Marketing Officer, Belize Tourism Board