Belize is becoming increasingly a popular destination for travel, especially cultural landscapes that allow a glimpse into how rural people live and work. Taking into consideration the potential that exist to link Agriculture and Tourism, it is necessary to improve agriculture value chain linkages, smallholder access to export markets, product diversification, increased food security, and promotion for agricultural products within the tourism sector of a destination. The tourism industry provides an important export market for a host of agricultural products where hotels and restaurants demand diverse agricultural inputs, and tourists demand agro tourism experiences and destination-branded specialty crops to bring home as souvenirs. Ago tourism is often a feasible strategy for local economic development and to promote traditional sustainable agriculture practices. The development of agro tourism tours and demonstrations as attractions in rural areas provides the potential for creating or expanding micro, small, or medium-sized enterprise (MSME) core and supply chain businesses, including transport, food service and products, and handicrafts.
The Belize Hotel Association and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture hosted a two-day workshop on Agro Tourism Linkages at the hotel level to help strengthen the linkages between the agriculture and tourism sector in Belize.
“We have a diverse culinary cuisine, let us take advantage of this opportunity, if we do not jump and capitalize on this opportunity, someone else will come and take it. It is up to us to harness that intellectual property and be able to package it in such a way that it becomes ours. We need to stop taking things for granted and understand whom we are and what we can do for the region.” were the words from Chef Karim Mejia.