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Jun 26, 2020

Fewer Flights; Hotels Need to Step Up Health and Safety Protocols!

But as hotels and other accommodations get ready for tourists to return, what will it look like for Belize? Considering that the reopening date is within the slow season, the numbers are expected to be low. But even so, COVID-19 continues to sweep across the United States, which is Belize’s main market; unemployment numbers are up in that country and there is also fear of travelling.  We asked Tejada how these will factor into travel and whether there will be reduced flights considering all the factors. So, what must local properties do to get those reduced tourism dollars?

 

Ted Tejada, President, Belize Hotel Association

“If you were to look at the statistics prior to the pandemic, if you were looking at the high season, we would have at least over one hundred international flights landing at the international airports. So, just multiply a hundred airlines times a hundred seats that is the number of people that were coming to our shores. With this re-opening, Delta is saying we are going to provide you three flights; United says we are going to provide you five flights; American says we are going to provide you one flight for the week. So, if you look at it, we are getting fifteen flights compared to one hundred. So, this is a start. We will not see an influx of tourism coming in, oh we have fifteen flights and we are going to full them – no. It is going to be a slow recovery process. We are working with different platforms and monitoring it – as of yesterday when it was announced, immediately these platforms went on sale. You gotta realize that all of these platforms had a safety note on it saying we are closed for business. But as of yesterday it became open. We will be able to give you more information ten days from now how the booking pace is starting to pick up. Right now, it is very slow because most of the people who wanted to come know that the airport was closed.”

 

Ted Tejada

Andrea Polanco

“So, when do we expect that first flight – on that fifteenth?”

 

Ted Tejada

“So, what American has stated, I believe, is going to be around July eighteenth. But the other airlines had scheduled it for August fifteenth. So, I believe that the fifteenth we should have two flights.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, now we won’t have a lot of tourists, but hotels have been anxiously waiting for the P.G.I.A. to reopen, what do they need to do to perhaps distinguish themselves from the local competition to get those tourism dollars?”

 

Ted Tejada

“So, if you look at 9-11, prior to 9-11 every guest that was travelling around the world was what’s your price? What is the rate of the room? After 9-11, the first question they used to ask is how secured is the hotel? How safe am I going to be at your hotel? Do you have surveillance system? Security guards? After now, COVID, the question is how clean is your hotel? How safe is it going to be for me to stay at your hotel? So, we are encouraging every hotelier that the primary steps to take right now is safety and cleanliness. They need to put on their websites what are the steps and protocols that they are taking as hoteliers in order for the guests who want to buy feel safe that whichever hotel they are coming to, that we are taking every step possible to mitigate the virus from contaminating anyone.”


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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