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Mar 19, 2015

Tour Guides Up In Arms with BTB Over Tourism Village Arrangement

Tour operators at the Fort Street Tourism Village were up in arms earlier today when upon learning that Arton Bowen, president of the Fort George Tourism Zone Tour Operators and Taxi Union, had been detained by police.  The union has been at odds with the Belize Tourism Board for quite some time, following a breakdown in negotiations over the management of the Fort George Tourism Zone.  They claim that other tour operators assigned to another terminal in the village are being given preferential treatment.  Things came to a head this morning when Bowen was taken into custody following an exchange with tourism police officers at FSTV.  News Five spoke with Bowen upon his release.


Arton Bowen, President, Tour Operators and Taxi Union

Arton Bowen

“Due to the numerous meetings that we sit with the BTB in good faith, we have agreed on several changes that should be made on the ground.  Given the fact that these changes, even though they were discussed, were never made, you know, we basically continued to work in the normal fashion that we’ve been working.  Basically this morning, what it was that there’s a system going on right now that the B.T.B. are saying they have a special accommodation for people who have p[rebooked tours. And the thing is for a certain group of people who use their names and when guest come in they will see your name and approach you. The signs were to stop because the people that are less qualified get more opportunity and we actually get educated and it creates a problem. Because of the system it seems like and in all fairness maybe the B.T.B. or police is not interested in putting a system in place that is fair and equal. So you find on the ground where the police themselves would out in place laws that would be infringing in our rights and sometimes we go along with it in good faith. This morning I was told that I should not use the sign or I won’t be able to work. So I explained to the officer the reason and not wanting to get into a situation and they say well you can’t use it you can’t work. I ended up putting the sign away and eventually the cops still came around and arrested me and said you are not suppose to use it.”


News Five attempted to get a comment from BTB officials but we were unsuccessful.


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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1 Response for “Tour Guides Up In Arms with BTB Over Tourism Village Arrangement”

  1. CEO says:

    Will any branch of government in Belize ever run smoothly with out this kind on crap?

    Anyone who has any interest in operating any business in Belize should be granted a license to do so as long as they meet a set of fair guidelines / rules that ever one meets. No political preference etc.

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