by Myrte Berendse and Carel Roessingh
This paper focuses on the way the Belizean tourism industry is coping with changes caused by diversification of the Belizean product. The image of Belize as a hidden paradise, unspoiled and with consideration for the natural environment has been built, for a large part, on the conventional dichotomy of (destructive) mass tourism on the one hand and (sustainable) small-scale tourism on the other. By focusing on cave tourism in Belize the authors explore ideas on tourism development and image building, with a focus on authenticity and sustainability. Different spatial and branding strategies for mass and small tourism are suggested. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Berendse, M. and Roessingh, C. (2007) ‘Hidden and unspoiled: image building in the tourism industry of Belize’, Int. J. Tourism Policy, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp.267–282. Biographical notes: Myrte Berendse (1978) conducted Research on Tourism Development in Belize and received her MA, cum laude, in organisational anthropology. She is co-editor of ‘Entrepreneurs in Tourism in the Caribbean Basin: Case studies from Belize, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Suriname’ (2005). Her current research focuses on cultural change within public infrastructure organisations. She works as a PhD candidate at the Department of Culture, Organisation and Management, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
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Keywords: image building; social construction; authenticity; sustainability; tourism policy; Belize
Suggested APA reference: Berendse, Myrte & Roessingh, Carel. (2007). Hidden and unspoiled: image building in the tourism industry of Belize. Int. J. Tourism Policy, Vol.1, No.3, pp 267-287.