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Graffiti Festival Corozal Belize

About

Summary 

This year long project was based on engaging local communities to develop sustainable tourism corridors in Corozal and Toledo through extensive stakeholder consultation, product development, capacity building and skills development, destination management structures, branding and marketing. 

The consultancy was designed to stimulate inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the two least economically advantaged districts of Belize, the emerging destinations of Corozal in the north and Toledo in the south. Each District receives only 3 per cent of tourists who visit Belize and the communities who live there needed to find ways to benefit from Belize’s visitor economy while retaining their local cultural values, diversity and heritage.

Acorn Tourism was commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank’s Belize Sustainable Tourism Program II, to undertake a year-long tourism consultancy in the two districts to develop tourism corridors that would be socially inclusive, generate employment and reduce poverty. 

Our Approach 

The first phase was to undertake a Situational Analysis to identify the strategic objectives for the development of the corridors, the existing products and infrastructure, current destination management arrangements, existing and potential market demand and new products that could be developed. The destination audit included GIS mapping as a foundation for the development of the trails and corridors.

To ensure that our recommendations for developing products in Corozal and Toledo were firmly grounded in the activities local communities were proud of and wanted to develop, and that the corridors would attract the type of responsible tourists who would appreciate these products, two members of our team based themselves in Belize for 8 months. They attended the Local Tourism Committee meetings and we undertook stakeholder workshops and extensive face-to-face consultations with the Maya, Garifuna, Creole, Mestizo and East Indian communities as well as regional and national public sector organizations and local businesses. 

Based on the aspirations of the local communities, combined with potential market demand, we identified concepts for developing business clusters and tourism corridors in each district. Management Manuals and Concept Development Guidelines were produced together with a Branding and Marketing Strategy and Action Plan, Infrastructure and Signage Plan and a Capacity Building and Training Programme for each tourism corridor. 

Outcome 

In Toledo, where nature and adventure activities were already well established but where the local communities had limited involvement, there was a desire to celebrate the diversity of cultures, each with their own lifestyle and traditions. Working closely with the local tourism committee and community representatives, we developed Cultural Flavours of Toledo, a tourism corridor and website that promotes the five different ethnic communities in Toledo and directs tourists to where they can enjoy these different culinary traditions, meet people from each culture and share their music, dance and agri-tourism activities.

In Corozal, which had a very limited number of existing attractions, there was a need to drive visitors in the short term and stimulate future investment. The District already had an active events calendar with regular monthly Art in the Park events and traditional Mayan Pok-ta-Pok matches. Along with producing the Corozal brand story, a development narrative for the district, we created their events strategy to promote and build new and existing events where tourists can interact easily with local people. Six months later they launched their first Corozal Graffiti Festival, an innovative and very successful weekend long festival, building on their Mayan mural traditions and contemporary arts scene.

Directions

Public Transport Directions

“What can I say, other than thank you so so very much for sharing the idea for a Graffiti Festival.  It has taken flight I am so happy to see the community embracing the festival.  It will continue to grow each year.”

Debra Wilkes, Coordinator, Corozal House of Culture, Museum of Belize

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Developing Tourism Corridors in Belize

Client:

Belize Sustainable Tourism Programme, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Inter-American Development Bank,

Location:

Belize
Belize Sustainable Tourism Programme, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Inter-American Development Bank

This project contributes to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Acorn AwardsSDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and work SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and work 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries SDG10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable SDG11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns SDG12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership SDG17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership 2020

Contact us

3 Woodland Enterprise Centre, Hastings Road,
Flimwell, East Sussex, TN5 7PR, UK

+44 (0) 1580 879970

contact@acorntourism.co.uk