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Belize Tourism Board Launches Groundbreaking ‘No Barriers Reef’ Project

Belize Tourism Board Launches Groundbreaking ‘No Barriers Reef’ Project

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is proud to announce the launch of ‘No Barriers Reef,’ a pioneering initiative designed to make the breathtaking natural wonders of Belize accessible to every Belizean. This innovative project, which went live on Saturday, June 8, in honor of World Ocean Day, is a testament to Belize’s commitment to the appreciation and preservation of our oceans and natural heritage.

In collaboration with The Zimmerman Agency, Belize introduced an innovative virtual reality (VR) experience this past March that immerses viewers in the stunning beauty of the Belize Barrier Reef, the largest living reef in the northern hemisphere. The primary goal of this initiative is to provide Belizeans, who may not have the ability or opportunity to explore this natural marvel firsthand, a unique opportunity to experience its splendor virtually. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Belize Barrier Reef attracts millions of travelers from all over the world each year. Knowing, though, that there are locals who have never had the chance to lay eyes on one of the world’s greatest wonders, despite it being in their own backyard, was something BTB felt needed to change.

Captured on camera, the awe and joy of Belizeans as they encountered the reef through VR for the first time was incomparable. Many expressed a profound sense of pride and wonder, underscoring the emotional and cultural significance of our natural heritage. This project vividly demonstrates that by overcoming barriers to experiencing the reef, we open up endless possibilities for making other natural wonders accessible to all. It also demonstrates the strides that have been made in the realm of technology to be able to bridge this gap. Without these advancements in virtual reality, a project like this would have never been achievable.

“Our natural heritage is an integral part of who we are as Belizeans,” said Hon. Anthony Mahler, Belize’s Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations. “The ‘No Barriers Reef’ project not only celebrates the beauty of the Belize Barrier Reef, but also empowers every Belizean to connect with our incredible landscapes and history. We’ve seen firsthand the emotional and cultural impact it’s had on the locals that participated in the project, and we are thrilled to finally share it with the rest of our fellow Belizeans. This initiative marks a significant step forward in making our natural wonders accessible to everyone.”

A great first step, the 360° Belize Barrier Reef video, is only just the beginning. Belize has exciting plans to create more immersive VR experiences, including virtual adventures exploring the ancient wonders of the ATM caves, participating in a fly over the magnificent Great Blue Hole, and visiting the awe-inspiring Maya Temple sites. Everyone, including Belizeans and non-Belizeans alike, are invited to stay tuned for these upcoming VR films. These experiences will bring the wonders of Belize to life, allowing people to explore and appreciate them from anywhere in the world.

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With the launch of No Barriers Reef and the announcement of plans to create even more VR videos in the future, BTB reaffirms their commitment to making Belize’s natural heritage accessible to all, ensuring that every Belizean can take pride in and connect with such a remarkable environment.

To view the No Barriers Reef campaign, head to travelbelize.org/no-barriers-reef. To learn more about the beautiful country of Belize, visit travelbelize.org.