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Sep 7, 2005

Tourism Minister seeks investment from international hotels

Story PictureAnd with long stay tourism continuing as the industry’s bread and butter, Smith allowed that the time has come for at least one major luxury hotel chain to plant its flag on Belizean soil.

Godfrey Smith
“It’s a priority. That’s a decision we’ve taken at B.T.B., that we need attract a major hotel. But the honest answer is we’re not very advanced in terms of any serious negotiation. For those who say, well, but what will that do, haven’t you branded yourself as an eco-destination that focuses on a personal experience? We at the Board, our response is yes, we have successfully branded Belize as a place where you can come, there are small intimate hotels and so on. That experience we think has been successfully branded and we think that because of the sheer size of Belize and the depth and diversity of it, the time has now come. If we are to hope to build greater numbers for overnight, we have to have a place where charters can come in from Canada. Inquiries are sometimes made. If a charter comes in, if a European flight comes in, they don’t want to be scattered over a bunch of hotels if they are bringing three hundred people.”

The current expansion of the runway at the Philip Goldson International Airport is being undertaken specifically to accommodate long range wide body charter flights.

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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