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Nov 30, 2010

No farewell songs for heavily criticized former BTB Chairman, Michael Singh

lindsay garbutt

Major changes were announced today in the tourism industry with the formal announcement that the Chief Executive Officer of the Belize Tourism Board is moving on to the investment arm of government. Michael Singh’s departure comes on the heels of a recent firestorm of criticism from residents of the Placencia peninsula for his role in a proposal to introduce cruise tourism. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports on the changes.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Belize’s tourism landscape has since the beginning of this year been undergoing major aesthetic and structural changes.  Across the country much is being done to improve various aspects of the industry including the controversial zoning of the Fort Street Tourism Village in order to attract foreign exchange in the wake of an economic recession.  The numbers in cruise and overnight tourism are rebounding steadily.  Earlier this year Seleni Matus was appointed as Director of Tourism.

The Belize Tourism Board has rolled out several projects including a two-year action plan which should see the Old Capital become the country’s central tourism destination as well as the introduction of cruise ships to Placencia.  The big news however, had to be an announcement earlier today that current CEO in the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Michael Singh, would be vacating his post as of the beginning of next year.  Succeeding him will be former BTB Chairman Lindsay Garbutt who has a decade of experience in the industry.

Lindsay Garbutt, Newly Appointed C.E.O., Min. of Tourism

“I look forward to working with CEO Singh in the coming weeks and months to ensure a seamless transition.  I’m also grateful for the presence of the key people within the ministry who are here today recognizing the importance of team work to make the working of this Ministry of Tourism that is so vital to our nation a success.”

Singh resigns as the ministry’s chief executive officer for a key position at BELTRAIDE.

Michael Singh, Outgoing C.E.O., Min. of Tourism

michael singh

“So my role will change where I will be relocating to Belmopan [uhm] in a role of executive chair of the Investment Development Unit which is today called BELTRAIDE but than likely there will be a change of that unit to make it a more dynamic, more broad based, more pointed investment, development and promotion unit.  And I will be heading up that unit so that will is the next step and the government feels that that is an important step to be able to take a lot of the planning initiatives to the next level and to be able to invite foreign investment and tie it in with public sector investment for future economic growth.”

Among other responsibilities Garbutt will also have as the new CEO is oversight of the upgrading of the municipal airstrip under a master plan which also ties in with the influx of overnight tourists.

Michael Singh

“The ministry, the aviation portion of the ministry has conducted a complete strategic plan for revitalization of all our municipal airports for expansion as a means for sorting and distributing tourists throughout Belize.  And, as a part of that plan which was, the plan itself was funded by the IDB and was delivered to us earlier this year, and we have already started implementing some of the items in that plan.  The major ones will be the complete rebuilding of the municipal airport [uhm] which we’re now in the final stages of finalizing the financing on that project which will be about a thirteen million dollar investment in a complete restructuring.  We have acquired land from St. John’s College which will allow us to extend the runway to thirty-five hundred feet to build a taxiway, to redo the entire parking area, to build a new terminal building, an office building for the BAA and to essentially turn that airport into the hub that it should be for domestic that it should be for travel in Belize.”

miriam roberson

Assuming the chairmanship of BTB in January is Mariam Roberson.  She has sat on the board of the Belize Tourism Industry Association and the Belize Hotels Association, while Bryan Young will become the Southern Representative for BTB.  Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Singh is to succeed the current chair of BELTRAIDE, Michael Swift.

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2 Responses for “No farewell songs for heavily criticized former BTB Chairman, Michael Singh”

  1. Student says:

    I was hoping that this report would include some comments from Lindsay Garbutt and Mike Singh about any changes, if any, regarding the BTB’s plans to introduce cruise tourism to the Placencia peninsula*.

  2. CJ says:

    My what is the BTB coming too?…. to much is going on….. I honestly think we need Tracy back in as Director… and as for miss thing that is director now… she think she is above all, because she has an education…. gyal you need common sence and get of you high horse….. and show litle respect to your coworkers… who work to the best of their abilities.

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