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Dec 6, 2018

B.T.I.A. Elects Melanie Paz as its New President

Tourism continues as a top contributor to economic growth. New commercial airlines are flying to Belize from major US cities and hoteliers and restaurant owners are experiencing a boom. The expansion of the sector was lauded today at the annual general meeting of the Belize Tourism Industry Association which also elected a new president and vice president. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Third quarter tourist arrivals are up this year in both the overnight and cruise ship categories, contributing significantly to the country’s gross domestic product.  In 2018, a total of one hundred and two thousand, six hundred visitors spent a night or two in Belize during the months of July, August and September.  During that same period, roughly two hundred and forty thousand cruise ship passengers disembarked at the Fort Street Tourism Village and at Harvest Caye, boosting production within tertiary industries, including hotels and restaurants, by twenty-four million dollars.  The travel business continues to lead the country’s economy and today its stakeholders came together to discuss the state of the tourism industry.


John Burgos

John Burgos, Executive Director, B.T.I.A.

“We always have a focus on three main things, one of them is training.  We were able to expand the number of trainings that we offer to our members.  We were able to offer a serve safe training for cooking staff.  We had a training for first aid and CPR, we had training for fire prevention and fire extinguishing as well, and for the first time we did an innovation and tourism training which basically brought some international guest speakers to represent Google, Trip Advisor and Expedia and we have a representative from More Tourism which is a digital marketing company.”


John Burgos is the Executive Director of the Belize Tourism Industry Association.  Today, he provides the membership of B.T.I.A. with a review of what has been accomplished by the organization over the past twelve months.


John Burgos

“Under marketing, we were very proud to be able to publish the twentieth edition of Destination Belize.  We were also not only presenting the new edition but also we were able to expand the marketing platform that it offers.  For the first time we’re going to have it available in Spanish which we’re going to be using to market and promote in Mexico and Central America and South America.  We’re already speaking with Copa and Aero Mexico to see how they’re going to assist us with the distribution of the magazine.”


From an economic perspective, there is much to celebrate within the service sector.  Those accomplishments were outlined recently by the Statistical Institute of Belize.


Angelita Campbell

Angelita Campbell, Economic Statistics Department, SIB

“Within this sector we saw hotel and restaurants going up by seventeen point two percent or three point five million dollars, totaling twenty-four million dollars and this is reflected in overnight visitors going up by fifteen point three percent, cruise visitors going up by fifty-five point five percent and room revenue also going up by four point two percent.”


For the thirty-third annual general meeting, colleagues within the association also chose a new president to serve a two-year term to succeed Raineldo Guerrero who was elected in 2016.


Melanie Paz

John Burgos

“It serves two key objectives, one of them is that I present a yearly report as to the works of the tourism industry over the last twelve months, you know.  We gotta share with our members some of the benefits that have been increasing for them this year and then we also share some of the upcoming materials for 2019.  The second main objective is to, we’re going to have elections.  We’re going to be electing a new president of the association for the next two years and we are also going to elect a new second vice president for the association.”


Melanie Paz is the new B.T.I.A. president.  Meanwhile, Stewart Krohn has also been re-elected as Second Vice President. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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