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Jun 28, 2012

Belize Tourism Industry Association meets on industry issues

The Belize Tourism Board reports tonight a seven point four percent increase in tourism visitors between January and May. March recorded the highest increase with a historic thirty-two thousand visitors coming to the Jewel, followed by February. With that impressive rebound, the B.T.I.A. met this morning in bi-annual general meeting. Aside from a GST to replace the hotel tax, expected to come on-stream, other developments in the industry were discussed. News Five’s Isani Cayetano.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The twenty-seventh bi-annual General Meeting of the Belize Tourism Industry Association was held today at the Radisson.  The forum was used as an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the current state of affairs within the industry.  It was also used to update its membership on work that has been undertaken during the past six months.

 

Efren Perez

Efren Perez, Executive Director, B.T.I.A.

“The success of our organization over the past six months has widely been attributed to the integral role played by every member of our team in all activities pursued. The Belize Tourism Industry Association is Belize’s leading national private sector tourism association and prides itself in being the national driving force in tourism. B.T.I.A. represents a unified voice and advocates for issues that benefits its members. B.T.I.A. also influences tourism policy, legislation and marketing for sustainable development of the industry and improved quality of visitor experience.”

 

B.T.I.A. Executive Director, Efren Perez, says that the organization has kept itself relevant by maintaining visibility across the country, primarily in the areas that have been designated for tourism activities.

 

Efren Perez

“The past six months has kept us busy at the B.T.I.A. headquarters, including visits to almost all destinations regularly, touching base with our key area representatives and members in an effort to continue to strengthen our working relationship.”

 

Among the major concerns presented at today’s gathering is the introduction of General Sales Tax to certain aspects of the tourism product.  B.T.I.A. President, Jim Scott, says that the proposed changes should allow developers entitlement for returns.  GST should also see a reduction in operational expenses across the industry.

 

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

Jim Scott

“Currently right now, if you build a hotel you cannot claim back any of that GST so right off the bat your development cost you would be able to claim that back, we hope we will very soon.  Secondly, just the cost of operations goes down.  Obviously we just, with that assumption we assumed that there’s going to be, because we can claim our inputs from an operational standpoint we’re going to have more cash in our coffers.  So you will then be able to utilize that [going forward.]  But for development purposes you reduce your cost right away.  There is some ambiguous discussions in the Ministry of Finance which I think we should throw into the mix for further definition.  Sometimes they don’t allow us, even for a restaurant development to claim back the development side of that building until it’s open so that’s something that we need to tackle as well to attract more investments both locally and foreign.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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1 Response for “Belize Tourism Industry Association meets on industry issues”

  1. Eye in the Sky says:

    The G e S T a p o tax will ruin the tourism industry for Belize especially the areas that are not promoted by the minister of San pedro only Tourism.
    Work hard man because an ugly ignorant black person in a G e S T a p o uniform is going to be kicking down your doors insisting you steal from Barrows goonies tax.

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