20 year old Thyrell Hyde develops Tourism board game

Plus News has been introducing you to entrepreneurs from around the country and tonight, we shine the spotlight on a young and upcoming business owner, whose current pursuit might very well be the ideal marketing tool for other businesses in the country. 20 year old Thyrell Hyde is the brain child behind “The Tourist Belize” a monopoly-typed board game that allows players to tour various tourist destinations in the country. Hyde was a guest on Rise and Shine last week, where he showcased the game. He may have a ground breaking invention on his hands, but Hyde said – it really wasn’t planned.

Thyrell Hyde – Entrepreneur:
vlcsnap-2013-03-07-16h43m31s75It wasn’t something planned.  We had just come home from the Art Festival in  Placencia.  As often as possible we try to go on outings and stuff.  That particular weekend I had fun.  I really didn’t want to come home.  I got the copy of the magazine “Destination Belize,” and at the back it had the fold out map of Belize with the archeological sites, and before that it was a directory of all their members.  Seeing all the businesses in the tourism industry collectively like that and then the map, the idea just came to me that that would make an awesome board game.  So I told my mam about it, and then she encouraged me from then on, to develop the idea into what it is today.

The game supports a maximum of six players and at the start of the game, each player is given $3,000 Belizean dollars to embark on their adventure. Hyde gave us a quick walkthrough.

Thyrell Hyde – Entrepreneur:  
vlcsnap-2013-03-07-16h44m22s59The game has three starting points, and the player has the option to choose any of the three to start from. The beauty about the game is that you don’t have to move in one motion.  So if six of us are playing, two might want to start from here, two [here], then everybody goes out in their own direction and do their own tour.  If you would start here in Cayo, you could jump all the way to Toledo and then back up [north], as long as you visit all 6 Districts and the two major Cays.  So in each stop, you’d have to pay for accommodations and transportation.  In addition to that, you’re encouraged to score more points, to try and experience and patronize as much businesses and stuff that are available in that area.  Before transitioning to another District, you’d have to select one of these cards that we call the Experience Cards. These are basically little scenarios that tourists would go through in Belize.  They range from “Unexpected Hurricane Development” to Belizean products like the “Crystal Water” if you’re thirsty.  It could be bad that you were caught littering and you’re fined. Now you’re already on a budget, so being fined $500 puts you at a disadvantage.  So these cards basically teach the player about Belize, about events, holidays, products, even Belizeans.

Now here comes the marketing part –hotels, resorts, restaurants, stores and any other kind of business, will have an opportunity to be a featured destination, service or product on the game. Hyde explained how that works.

Thyrell Hyde – Entrepreneur:  
vlcsnap-2013-03-07-16h45m05s227For example, if you were in Belmopan and you would play and you would happen to land, for example, on the Hotel icon, the game calls for an accompanying catalog that we plan to feature these destinations and businesses.  And so, for example, hotel, you would go to this hotel section and them by District, Belize, and then by further Belmopan, and you would see a listing of actual hotels.  That carries you further to the restaurants, national parks, everything that is available would be featured in the appropriate sections

The cost for advertising your business in the game and the destination catalogue ranges from $400 to $1,000. Tourist Belize is having a conference tomorrow at the Bliss Institute at 4pm and is inviting all interested business owners. Meanwhile, the launch of the game is scheduled for May.  Hyde says he hopes the game will encourage Belizeans to tour their country and attract tourists to visit the jewel as well.

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