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Showing posts from 2015

Paycation or Payscam: Belize’s New Certified Travel Agency

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Introduction 
Two weeks ago, I saw that a lady posted on Facebook that she had completed a training to be a Certified Travel Agent. She appeared interested in doing bookings for Belizeans. I was a bit puzzled by this. I would have expected that it’s much more lucrative to book tours for international visitors to Belize than being interest in booking Belizeans out of country. Thinking little of it, I just continued scrolling my Facebook feed.
Certificate received by Belizean
Today, I became suspicious when I saw another Belizean posted that he too had completed a program and is now a Certified Travel Agent. I was compelled to do a little investigation. It turns out the certificate are being issued by a company named Xstream Travel operating out of the United States.
Upon visiting the website, my suspicions become more acute. I am aware of the general features of website scams and this had all of them, reflecting the handiwork of an amateur. It is a basic website with no substantive conten…

The BTB Branding: How to Be Eurocentric & Why Not in Belize

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It’s been two years since the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) launched the “Discover How to Be” promotional tourism video (“Discover How to Be”, 2013). However, it was until this week that I encountered the video on Facebook and I must express a grave dismay with the production. I would like to call attention to the segment (time slot: 1:11-1:20) which displays the text “be primitive” and “be peculiar” with our Maya archeological sites in the background. The representation of our indigenous heritage and people as “primitive” and “peculiar” is the perpetuation of Eurocentric discourse which facilitated the enslavement and exploitation of indigenous peoples and non-Europeans in general. To allow this representation of Belize for local and international consumption is disrespectful and prejudicial.

The use of the terms “primitive” and “peculiar” in this context are derived from and are reflective of European colonization, enslavement, and hegemony over non-Europeans. These historical processe…