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Jan 20, 2022

B.T.I.A. Looks Forward to 2022

Tourism stakeholders, who make up the Belize Tourism Industry Association, today took part in their thirty-sixth Annual General Meeting. The event was held virtually in tandem with COVID protocols. With chapters in all major destinations across Belize, the chief tourism advocacy group has been lobbying for the betterment of the industry since it formed in 1985. Marion Ali listened in today and filed the following report on where the B.T.I.A. is heading in 2022.


Marion Ali, Reporting

The financial statements for the B.T.I.A.’s last fiscal year from August 2020 to July 2021 reflect COVID times. Treasurer, Reineldo Guerrero shared the details.


Reineldo Guerrero

Reineldo Guerrero, Treasurer, Belize Tourism Industry Association

“You will see that in 2020 we had revenues of three hundred and seventy thousand dollars versus a hundred and seventy-two thousand in 2021. What made the big difference there is that we had revenues from Destination Belize, which was one hundred and sixty-seven thousand, while 2021 we’re only showing twenty-eight thousand. However, most of this is for previous year income that we ended up getting in 2020-2021.   We’re still a big way from getting back to where we were but that is what it was.”


B.T.I.A. President, Stewart Krohn shared how the association managed to survive the COVID onslaught up to now.


Stewart Krohn

Stewart Krohn, President, Belize Tourism Industry Association

“By December of 2020, the pandemic induced loss of virtually all our revenue sources, had left the B.T.I.A.’s finances in shambles, and forced us to dismiss all three of our staff members. We were down but not quite out. The strong advocacy campaign under my able predecessor, Melanie Paz, never stopped, as your Board and Executive Committee lobbied strongly and successfully for low-interest loans to the industry from DFC and renegotiation with the private banks. We supported policies that helped thousands of laid-off employees receive government assistance. At B.T.I.A. headquarters in Belize City, we went into survival mode, slashing expenses and focusing our efforts on a narrow set of priorities, primarily how to revive tourism in the face of the deadliest pandemic in the century. That we were able to carry out that effort is attributable to several factors.”


Guest Speaker, Minister of Tourism, Anthony Mahler spoke about the partnership between government and the members of the industry.


Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism

“When we took over government, as a result of an overwhelming mandate by the people, we were at the tail end of a year that would see a seventy percent contraction in overall tourism performance globally as well as in Belize. We inherited an unprecedented state of affairs in our sector. We found a private sector that became our true partner. Together, we were able to ignite the recovery process for tourism. Together we were able to lead the economic recovery efforts for the country during these difficult times.”


During the meeting, two executive members were re-elected to serve. Reineldo Guerrero will continue as Treasurer, and Osmany Salas will be Second Vice President.


Marion Ali reporting for News Five.

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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