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Dec 3, 2015

Association Requests Financial Assistance from GOB

Osmany Salas

The B.T.I.A. is asking government to look at some of the concerns facing the industry where infrastructure and security are concerned, but there is also the cry for more meaningful collaboration – like the kind you put in a bank account. The suggestion is for some sort of instrument which would see B.T.I.A. getting a share of tourism revenues collected through taxes.

 

Osmany Salas, President, BTIA

“I know across the border in Mexico, I understand that the private sector tourism association based in Cancun, in that area of Mexico…they receive – I don’t remember the exact percentage – but they receive a small percentage of the tourism-related taxes to support the work of the association. And for that association it represents a significant amount of money. I think something like that can be tried here in Belize. As BTIA we have shown that we can do a lot with few resources. As private sector we know how to stretch that dollar and make it work and we have our contacts, our connections, and I feel that we need to find ways to secure some of the tourism tax dollars to put it to work to address our challenges in the industry.”

 

Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism

Manuel Heredia

“Let me be very frank and very honest. There is a good working relationship between BTB, the Ministry of Tourism and BTIA. And I will say that indeed they are still getting a substantial amount of assistance not only for them but also for the BHA. We need to sit down again, look carefully at what really is needed between the three bodies and if we can do that, probably I believe that there might be need to approach government for some funding. BTB also, even though they generate their own income, at times they need support from government, but it is just a matter that if we want this industry to move forward, all bodies have to come together, forgetting about differences and forgetting about who is better or bigger than the other. I personally as the Minister responsible believe that there is no one bigger than the other. We all need one another and we all need to sit down at the table and iron out our differences and then I believe that we can come with a concrete plan as to where the industry needs to go.”

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1 Response for “Association Requests Financial Assistance from GOB”

  1. Truthbetold says:

    The BTB is a money hungry cash cow that merely supports the government coffers and does little or nothing to support private businesses in the tourism industry, even though they collect 9% hotel taxes on every establishment associated with the tourism industry. They are overloaded with incompetent staff and still contract out to foreign companies for their advertising/promoting. The BTIA by contrast receives no funds from overnight fees, but represent the individual stake holders and promote their members as best they can on limited resources. Given the choice of the two, most players in the industry would not hesitate to dump the BTB. Let the people who are forced to pay vote on who they want and how the collected funds should be distributed.

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