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Dec 15, 1999

B.T.B. announces TV ad campaign

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The Belize Tourism Industry Association held its bi-annual General Meeting today to discuss progress since the AGM in June. The morning session was for members only, but in the afternoon Minister of Tourism Mark Espat spoke about the Belize Tourism Board’s marketing plans for the coming year. He also dedicated a good portion of his address to remembering the B.T.I.A.’s first President Jean Shaw, the owner of the Mopan Hotel, who died suddenly this month. Espat says he was impressed by her determination and dedication to the industry and hopes the association will continue the work she helped to start. He spoke to News Five about the new television ad campaign and the challenges facing the industry.

Mark Espat, Minister of Tourism

“We hope on February first in the year two thousand to be on network TV for the very first time in the North American market with three hundred thirty-second ads that we’ll be promoting Belize’s tourism industry. These ads should reach some eleven million households in the US mostly on the east and west coast. We hope that it will not only increase the number of visitors for what is typically the high season, but that it will also extend our season right into the summer.

Right now nine percent of our hotels produce over fifty percent of our hotel sales. It tells us that those hotels that do not produce a quality product are really doing miserably. We really need to change that. We need to offer them opportunities but we also need for them to become serious about investing in their product: training their employees, adding value to what they offer and ensuring that the standards in our hotel sector increase and in that way I think we will improve the overall tourism product.”

The Commissioner of Sales Tax Carmen Barrow also gave a presentation at today’s B.T.I.A. meeting at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel.

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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