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May 12, 2020

When Will Belize Open Up to International Tourists?

Local tourists only contribute to ten percent of the revenues collected by hoteliers across the country; the bulk of its income is made by international tourists who would take advantage of multiple packages. In our one-on-one interview with Belize Hotel Association President Ted Tejada, he agreed that our borders should remain close due to the spike in COVID-19 cases in Mexico and Guatemala. He is optimistic, though, that by July, the P.G.I.A. could be open to international visitors. 


Ted Tejada

Ted Tejada, President, Belize Hotel Association

“There are flights available on July second; there is inventory online for July second only through the international airport. The PM has asked us to be calm as an industry because we know that our primary market which is the United States—seventy percent of our market comes through there—we can see what is happening. So in order for us to open as a country, we need some methodology to do rapid testing. Unless we get that machine that can do rapid testing, it is going to be difficult to open any avenue. So the Prime Minister has mentioned that his intention yes is to allow flights to come on July second, but if Belize as a country cannot get a rapid testing machine, that date might have to be pushed over. It is difficult for us as an industry to accept, but we know the circumstances; we can see it. We do not, as a country, want to get affected again. The economic crunch has already been hard on us for it to reoccur, so we are asking all our hoteliers—which we all are feeling the pinch—to be cognizant of that. That we want to do things right; we want to bring in tourists, but we want to bring them when they are COVID-19 free as well. So we have that as a tentative date, but on the other hand we are listening to the medical team, they are the experts on this, and we are paying attention to what they have to say.”

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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