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Jul 15, 2020

Reopening P.G.I.A. – Choosing Destination Based on Health, Safety and Cleanliness

The reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport is not without opposition; there are concerns about the risks associated with international visitors being allowed to enter Belize from countries recording epic numbers of the new coronavirus. Within the region, some Caribbean countries, which had reopened to international tourists, have had to shut down as the number of imported cases of COVID-19 went up. August fifteenth has been set as the date when international flights will begin arriving at the P.G.I.A.  Today, News Five caught up with Director of Tourism, Karen Bevans to get her take on what protocols will be put in place one month from now.

 

Karen Bevans

Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism

“There are concerns and I do think that as Belizeans as a people, the concerns will always be there because we are always concerned about safety and about health. Those are the two main factors in this entire pandemic, however, as a tourism industry we do recognise that we have to rebound and rebuild this industry. We have to do it at some point; we don’t know when a vaccine will be there and a decision must be made for us to start, but start safely and responsibly.  Travellers now are choosing destinations based on health, safety and cleanliness. For us to ensure that we deliver that and Belize remains on top of list for destination of choice, we have to ensure that we deliver on those factors.  Another thing, travellers are looking for destinations that are close, close to home. They have to wear a mask in the airplanes so they want a short flight. Belize is in a prime position because we are maybe like two hours away from US destinations. They are looking for destinations that are not crowded, low population density; Belize again, a prime destination for that, perfect for social distancing. So those factors in addition to the success that we had in managing the entire pandemic—which is not over yet, but what we have achieved so far and the results we have achieved—puts Belize in a very good position to be a destination of choice for travellers when tourism rebounds.”


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