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Dec 1, 2011

B.T.I.A. holds AGM and presents new initiatives for Belize

Tourism is one of the top foreign exchange earners for Belize’s economy. This year the industry remained steady in overnight visitors but in cruise ship, the figures have been going down for a number of reasons including the protracted dispute months ago over tenders. Today, stakeholders sat down to discuss the current state of affairs at the Belize Tourism Industry Association’s annual general meeting. The global recession according to B.T.I.A. President, James Scott, caused a dip in the numbers but he says arrivals are back on the increase now that the high season has kicked off. Scott also states that several initiatives already in place to get industry back on track will continue, but there are new projects coming on stream, including an amped up web portal and a student’s program.

James Scott, President, B.T.I.A.

James Scott

“Today’s meeting, one; at the end we had elections of some new officers but two it was really a recap to update people as to what had happened last year, what’s currently happening and what we need to focus on in the future.”

Delahnie Bain

“I know that we were affected a bit in the tourism industry with the financial crisis and so on. Where do we stand now?”

James Scott

“We’re seeing increases. We’re seeing increases globally, we’re seeing increases in our region and fortunately we’re seeing increases in Belize. We have a bit further to go to catching up with there were three years ago but we’re really happy with the changes that are taking place, the increases in overnight visitors and the stabilization within the cruise sector and so forth. We know that’s only going to improve as well and it’s a really exciting time to be part of the positive change and to see the increases, more visitors to Belize and people who are interested in us.  We’re going to continue where we’re going in terms of the marketing efforts. There’s a number of things we’re going to continue to do, improving product development, we’re going to be launching a student membership program so all the secondary and tertiary schools that have tourism programs, we need to reach out and touch them, give them access to some of us who are out there working on a day to day in the tourism industry. They’re graduating with degrees, they’re getting training but a lot of times they don’t have that direct contact with us so it’s not just an internship.”

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