In 2012, a small country on the eastern coast of Central America faced a drastic need to reposition itself in the tourism industry. Instead of following the old sand-and-sun narrative of other well-known Caribbean destinations, ICF took a reverse approach and focused within: reconnecting native Belizeans with a sense of unapologetic pride in their identity and culture.
We went the extra mile and had our aviation experts get more airlines to agree to fly there, making it logistically convenient for a larger market of passengers to travel to Belize. Increased flights, a fresh logo, and a suite of marketing materials has led to a 65% lift in consideration and arrivals reaching the highest point since 2000. Belize is now the fastest growing destination in the Caribbean, with overnight arrivals increasing 44% over the last four years.
Tourism campaigns for Caribbean destinations often have a similar aesthetic—sandy beaches, honeymooning couples, frosty drinks by the pool. But the Belize Tourism Board and its agency, ICF Olson, had enough of that. For its ad campaigns, the BTB focused on local experiences unique to Belize and making flying to the country easier.
A quote featured in Adweek, "Ads for beach destinations all tend to look the same," said Kevin McKeon, chief creative officer at ICF Olson. "You rarely see a native. With the rise of Airbnb, people are looking for more interesting experiences when they travel. We thought, let the big guys fight it out for that honeymooner. We'll take the other person who's looking for something truly unique."