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Aug 14, 2019

Over $40K Invested in Tourism Scholarships

Today, the Belize Hotel Association and the Belize Tourism Board gave away over forty-thousand dollars in scholarships. The ten scholarship recipients received certificates and other gifts this morning, as they were accepted into the scholarship programme at a joint-award ceremony at the Biltmore. The students received scholarships for high school, sixth form and undergraduate level studies. News Five’s Andrea Polanco was there and files this report.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

A total of ten students were awarded scholarships to pursue tourism studies. The Belize Hotel Association gave six scholarships, while the B.T.B. awarded four. The total value of the scholarships awarded today is over forty-thousand dollars. Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia says the investment in tourism education is necessary for Belize’s tourism industry.

 

Manuel Heredia Jr.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism

“We are competing with many parts of the world and we have to be up to standards, also. Hence, we try to assist the students so that they can better of their lives. They can learn more about our industry and learn more about Belize and sell it to our tourists. Our tourists love Belize but we have to ensure that we give them a quality service; quality standards in our hotel and everything so that people who be managing these resorts will be able to give a much better service than we are getting.”

 

Since 2009, the B.T.B. has been awarding scholarships for tourism education and up to ninety students have benefitted, many of whom have gone on to work in the industry or pursue higher studies. B.T.B.’s Director of Quality Assurance Herbert Haylock says they see the value in making this kind of investment.

 

Herbert Haylock

Herbert Haylock, Director of Quality Assurance & Industry Standards

“The overall program aims at supporting and basically providing the financial support, as well as for providing an opportunity for us to add to the crop of individuals and students who are working to becoming a part of this sector by studying, again, in the various tourism programmes in what they are pursuing as their course of study. But it gives us an opportunity to be able to groom, to be able to bring on board potential new leaders, potential individuals that will be some of the leaders tomorrow and that is one of the backdrops as to why we do and why we pursue this program annually.”

 

Two of the B.T.B. scholarship recipients will be studying tourism at UB; third scholarship is for culinary studies and the fourth scholarship is The Jean Shaw Award which is for a two-year undergraduate studies. These scholarships were awarded based on need, academic performance, overall  interest in the tourism field.

 

Jennifer Padilla

Jennifer Padilla, Jean Shaw Award Recipient

“I applied because I really needed the help. As you guys know, studying for Bachelors is really expensive so I really needed the financial help so that I can pursue my studies in tourism. Thanks to Tourism, Belize is where we at right now, because as Mr. Heredia said, we get forty percent of our income from tourism and I believe it is very important.”

 

Glenroy Fermin

Glenroy Fermin, B.T.B. Scholarship Recipient

“For me, as an individual, it is a way forward. It is definitely something that we know it is a booming industry and for me as someone who travels a lot and it gives me the opportunity to sell Belize.”

 

The Belize Hotel Association awarded six students; five recipients attending high school and one is attending sixth form. Five of them are previous awardees. The recipients are the children of persons employed by BHA members.

 

Roanne Badillo

Roanne Badillo, Board of Directors, B.H.A.

“As long as they maintain their grades and their parent is still employed at the members’ business, then we try to continue the scholarship for them. The scholarships include tuition, books, and for some of the ladies receiving the scholarships today, it includes their graduation fees, lab fees, whatever fees that the school puts in there, as long as it is within $1500, then we try to cover it for them.”

 

The Angelus Press is a member of the B.H.A. They presented the students with brand new backpacks valued at thousand dollars in total.

 

John Gillett

John Gillett, Operations Manager, Angelus Press

“Education is so key to our country. I think it is the least we can do when we can. If we have the resources to assist then I think it is only fair that we do our part to try to make this all possible. I know there were some challenges trying to get the necessary funds for the scholarships, so we decided, hey, it’s the Angelus Press and back to school is our thing and we try to share with our community as much as we can. Once it is a positive initiative such as this one, we decided to partake by providing ten Samsonite school bags, as a part of the assistance that goes out to making this a reality.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


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