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Nov 29, 2012

B.T.I.A. hosts AGM for tourism partners

The tourism industry has had a successful year. That commendable sentiment came in the report card that was presented at the annual general meeting of the Belize Tourism and Industry Association which took place at the Radisson Hotel today. But despite growth in the industry, crime presents a major challenge that threatens to besmirch the industry product. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

 

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

The Belize Tourism Industry Association held its twenty-seventh Annual General Meeting today. The last but most important order of business was the election of its new president, Herbert Haylock. Valerie Woods was elected first Vice President while the second vice president is now Peter Tonti. Outgoing President, Jim Scott, reflected on the year’s successes including two major marketing tools.

 

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

Jim Scott

“The last quarter we’ve seen about a nine percent growth over the year before and I think it’s an attribute to the resiliency of our market base and the richness of our product. BETEX was another success this year and we had great response and great participation from our international wholesalers and agents. Destination Belize, for those who have been riding the rollercoaster of that publication for the last several years, will probably agree with me in saying that it was very nicely done and a refreshing change.”

 

But crime continues to be a challenge for the tourism industry. Guest Speaker at today’s event, Minister of National Security, John Saldivar spoke on government’s plans to address that issue.

 

John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“My ministry is currently involved in a number of projects that are being coordinated through the Central American Integrated System, SICA; one of which is an integrated system of tourism security among SICA participating states. This program, I believe will not only provide uniformity to the security of tourists in the region, but will afford us a data system for tourist complaints and hopefully, when the legislative challenges are sorted out, will provide a legal framework where incidents involving tourists are dealt with in a more expeditious and acceptable manner. In addition, only yesterday in a meeting with the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, the Chief Magistrate, the D.P.P. and the Solicitor General, it was agreed to move forward with legislation and the requisite equipment to enable testimony to be given by video satellite link. If we can pass the legal hurdles related to that, this may mean that tourists who find themselves involved in a court matter, can give testimony via this satellite link. The police department is in the process of assessing various proposals for installation of cameras initially across Belize City and eventually the entire country.”

 

But crime isn’t the only challenge; B.T.I.A. Board Treasurer, Pedro Perez presented the association’s audited financials, which show that it continues to operate on a small income base, but there has been better management of funds in the past year.

 

Pedro Perez, B.T.I.A. Board Treasurer, B.T.I.A.

Pedro Perez

“This year, as you will see we ended with an operating surplus of fifty-nine thousand, four hundred and twenty-four. Our bank account hasn’t seen this black for long, long time ended at around a hundred and thirty-seven thousand dollars and as I said, we didn’t need an overdraft for this last year. You have seen that we have a little money in the bank, it doesn’t mean that we don’t need your support. It means that we are poised to do a better job for you in training, in marketing, in promotion. This is not the time to weaken our organization or stop promoting our businesses. We need to use the technologies in place to bring about efficiencies and cost effectiveness, we need to create a mindset of doing things different and better.”

 

The B.T.I.A.’s finances received a boost today when the Atlantic Group of companies presented a donation of twenty-five thousand dollars. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

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1 Response for “B.T.I.A. hosts AGM for tourism partners”

  1. Storm says:

    If BTIA actually handled its finances responsibly, I’m happy for it. Good job!

    Maybe BTIA can teach other agencies and associations how to keep honest books. Most of them need it.

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