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Jun 9, 2011

BTB presentation says millions invested in selling Belize to the world

Tourism is on the rebound from the global recession that threatened the industry that provides jobs for one out of every four Belizeans. The Prime Minister said today that the numbers are going up and that Belize has survived the worst of it.  Government is investing millions of dollars in different projects including infrastructure and travel trade. The marketing budget has doubled and the BTB will be spending twelve million dollars to package the Jewel abroad. News Five’s Andrea Polanco has a report from the twelfth annual Industry Presentation at the Biltmore.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Belize Tourism Board’s Industry Presentation highlighted the growth and underscored the industry’s outlook and initiatives. At the forefront of today’s presentation was the importance of Tourism to Belize’s economy. Prime Minister Barrow tasked the stakeholders to continue developing a product that is the lifeline for many Belizeans.

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

Dean Barrow

“In 2010 and despite the downturn we had been going through, Tourism has still accounted for almost a quarter of our entire GDP. Tourism is our compensating gift from nature, our compensating gift from God. We need to make the most of it, to be smart and wise custodians and to ensure that we develop this product both for the long haul and for the majority benefit of Belizeans.”

The budget for Marketing and PR, two tools essential to help Belize transcend as a first class tourist destination, has doubled.

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

“Over the past five years the BTB has spent an average of six point five million dollars annually on Marketing, this year that is going to be increased to twelve point one million dollars.”

Seleni Matus

Seleni Matus, Director of Tourism

“What we have done this year is really brought in new partners and with our thought leaders and influencers here in the local front is crafted a pretty ambitious dynamic new marketing plan. This plan focuses on really getting our message out almost on a real time basis using both offline and online tactics.”

Over night arrivals have increased by two thousand one hundred and twenty three visitors at the International Airport.  However, there remains a dip in visitors rating. Last year only sixty three percent said the quality was good compared to seventy one percent in 2008.  Two new initiatives have been designed to help strengthen and enhance the unique product.

Dean Barrow

“We will charter now a National Tourism Council designed to mainline tourism into the country’s development strategy and to ensure proper inter –ministerial and inter-departmental support for the industry. I will personally chair the council and it will bring together critical important colleagues alongside the Minister of Tourism. The second major initiative that I want to announce is government funding in the amount of one million dollars for the purpose of capacity and competitiveness building in tourism.”

Manuel Heredia

Another key area is infrastructure, which the tourism minister says will develop across the country in the upcoming months:

Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation & Culture

“Construction will commence over the next four months  on the nine major infrastructure enhancement projects in Placencia, San Pedro, San Ignacio, Belize City and as well as key archaeological site. A total of seventeen point four million is being invested in drawing visitors to revitalize town centers, recreational centers and attractions as means for increasing the economic benefits that our local communities capture from tourism. In addition, The BTB Destination Plan Programme is investing approximately four hundred thousand over the next two months in other targeted infrastructure improvement projects in Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Corozal, and Orange Walk at the Northern, Western and Southern Border points.”

In expressing a solid commitment to the development of the tourism industry, a cheque of two point two million dollars was presented to BTB partners BELTRAIDE, BHA and BTIA. Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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5 Responses for “BTB presentation says millions invested in selling Belize to the world”

  1. I Have Awaken says:

    Did they give Tony Rath another $500,000 to build some useless websites?

  2. Elgin Martinez says:

    That’s right,but who is reaping the sweets.

  3. cg says:

    $12,000,000 to get people to visit….and $0 for those squatters….wow talk about total unbalance of scales…..why are we spending so much to convince these people to visit and not much on improving what we have here???

  4. I Have Awaken says:

    “cg” that is why they are investing 15,000,0000 in Cayo, San Pedro, Belize City and Placencia.

  5. The Observer says:

    @ I Have Awaken and Elgin Martinez: The good ole government gave the contract to a US company that doesn’t even know about tourism in Belize.

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