Belize Tourism Board strikes gold with Simone Biles tweet

The Belize Tourism Board congratulated Biles on her gold medal win and offered her and her team a vacation on Twitter - which Biles quickly accepted.

By Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil, via Wikimedia Commons
By Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil, via Wikimedia Commons

The Belize Tourism Board struck gold when Simone Biles retweeted its offer of a vacation to the Central American country shortly after she won a gold medal in the women’s gymnastics all-around program on Thursday.

The tourism board is extending the offer to Biles and her teammates, said George Fiddler, creative director at Olson Engage, which has worked on the Belize Tourism Board account on PR and social media for four years.

"Simone and the group still have some work to do before they're ready to think about taking a vacation," Fidder added. "We want to give them their space. But our next move is reaching out privately and coordinating when the trip could happen."

The firm cautioned that it’s too early to put a dollar value on the attention its client received from the tweet.  

Biles, whose adoptive mother emigrated from Belize, is a dual citizen of the country and the U.S. and vacations there regularly. The tourism board is offering a five day, all-expenses-paid vacation.

The response isn’t the first time Belize has jumped into a pop culture moment. Its tourism board has extended other vacation offers to the cast of Breaking Bad, Steve Harvey, and DJ Khaled.

"It’s part of what we call our right-time engagement strategy," Fiddler said. "We look for these moments in pop culture that feel appropriate for Belize to react to. There have been quite a few of these moments occur in the last few years."

If the team takes up the offer, Belize Tourism is willing to work with them no matter what they choose to do there.

"We would want them to have their privacy and we would only make a big deal again if they were comfortable," Fiddler said. "But if they wanted to do something gymnastics related while on vacation, like doing backflips on the beach, it would be awesome to see that kind of thing shared on Snapchat, Instagram, and their social media channels."

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