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Mar 20, 2020

Employees in Tourism Industry Feeling the COVID-19 Effects

Tens of thousands of persons rely on the tourism industry and with COVID-19 negatively affecting the industry many businesses are left to lay off employees. Hotels across the country are empty and employees are left wondering what will happen to their employment. It is some that in some cases, employees are being sent home and others they are taking a cut back in salaries while others placed on unpaid leave. The Belize Tourism Board informed employees on Thursday that cuts will be paid given the COVID-19 threat and its effects to the industry. No one from B.T.B. would provide comment today, but News Five has learned that employees were told that some of them would become non-function since B.T.B. will not be collecting taxes since different sectors of the industry are closing down. News Five has learned that a number of staff members were chosen and given two options. They were offered an attractive package to leave the B.T.B. or remain. Those who remain will take a salary cut and when a re-evaluation is done in June that attractive package will not be available.   Tejada says that businesses should carefully consider all options before laying off staff members.


Ted Tejada

Ted Tejada, President, Belize Hotels Association

“The economic impact that it is going to have is massive. For example I had a call yesterday with a hotelier that employs one hundred and sixty employees. His hotel is solely tourism. Due to this crisis he had no guest at his hotel. We are all looking at our employees and we are very conscious that everyone needs a job and we are trying our very best to try maintain them. But if you have one hundred and sixty employees not one guest at the hotel the biggest problem we have in this particular case we do not see the terms when there will be a solution. There is virus out there that nobody seems to be able to control. We are hoping that this epidemic will have some type of solution by the end of April, stating in May but the numbers are showing that there are no booking coming in from March, April, May and up to June.”

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