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Jul 4, 2019

B.T.I.A. Says Booking Cancellations Decreasing

John Burgos

The tourism industry in Belize took a hit after U.S. doctor Gary Swank was murdered while vacationing on the island.  Cabinet anticipated an adverse effect that could possibly cripple San Pedro’s economy and decided to meet urgently in order to design a crime prevention strategy for the island. After Doctor Swank and tour guide Mario Graniel were fatally shot while fly fishing, the U.S. media reported on the crime causing cancellation of bookings and flights.  In fact, twenty-six percent of bookings were canceled last week.  Industry stakeholders, however, are optimistic that the situation is improving.  Executive Director for the Belize Tourism Industry and Association, John Burgos, told News Five today that the number of cancellations has drastically decreased.

 

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

“Our members have been doing is that they have been reaching to their guests who come on a regular case and say that it is an isolated case.  Last week we saw the cancellations coming in. Now we have seen that the cancellations have subsided drastically. We have reduced. People are of the understanding that we are the taking the right steps right now. Also what is happening is that the U.S. media has in various ways has been falsely and exaggerating the actual situation on the ground. I believe that the tourists are beginning to see that Belize is still a very safe tourist destination. They can still walk around in the main tourist areas without any fear.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“The B.T.I.A. does not expect that this would have long lasting effect on the tourism industry?”

 

John Burgos

“If we are going be able to do the right strategy on the ground and put the pressure and ensure that these destinations are rid of some of the criminal elements there, I believe that is not going to be the case.”


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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