Helping Belize Hotels from Afar

by Carolee Chanona

Belize’s tourism sector, along with the wider Caribbean region, has been hit hard financially as the novel coronavirus sweeps across the globe. In particular, properties in the hotel industry has laid off or furloughed staff. Some have simply closed their doors—potentially for good. If you’ve had a new destination or a tried-and-true choice to travel, you can still help hotels make it through this pandemic from afar.

The travel industry is resilient at its core. Its simple goal is to connecting communities and cultures around the world. With Belize’s borders closed and shelter-in-place mandates around the world, most travelers can’t (and shouldn’t) book a stay right now. Despite self-isolation calling for social distancing, hotel’s websites and social media profiles are making it easier than ever to connect from afar. Here’s 4 ways to virtually offer your support to help hotels:

Postpone Your Booking – Don’t Cancel

By postponing your booking instead of cancelling, hotels can use those much-needed fees towards a future date instead of a possibly-crippling refund. Hotel doors may be physically closed, but their reservation offices are ready to hear from you.

Book a Future Stay

Some hotels are encouraging booking for 2021 and beyond. Others are offering impressive discounts or upgrades with flexible rates and cancellation polices. This give both you, and the hotel, something to look forward to.

Buy Gift Cards

A gift voucher is a commitment without committing. Funds are essentially a credit to be used for when you are ready to travel, with more flexible expiration dates.

Leave Positive Reviews Online

If you’re not in the position to financially support, leaving a positive review online can have a lasting impact. Now is the perfect opportunity to submit a review for your favorite hotel on Google, TripAdvisor, Expedia; this helps hotels show up competitively in search engines and allows team members praise for staff morale.

How to Help

Given that many people are in self-isolation to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, social media has skyrocketed. Hotels are encouraging former guests to share their trip memories online. Not only does this keep people’s spirits up, but it spreads word-of-mouth which could lead to future bookings. “Any user-generated content is what we welcome right now,” says Christine Gaudenzi, Director of Sales and Marketing for The Family Coppola Hideaways. This includes their 3 Belize resorts.

At Caribbean Culture + Lifestyle, we’re encouraging our readers to reminisce and post their favorite Belize photos for a chance to win a trip to Belize + get featured in the 2020 Gold Book with our #BelizeGoldBook Instagram Contest! First prize includes a $500 USD Southwest Gift Card to fly to Belize, 2 round-trip tickets to Placencia on Maya Island Air, and a 3-night stay at Ray Caye Island Resort, a private island, Offshore Placencia. Second prize includes a 2 night-stay in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye at Sunbreeze Hotel and a Blue Hole Tour by Maya Island Air. Read more on the terms and conditions here.

Article adapted from Fodors.

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