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May 12, 2022

FECTAB Says ‘No’ to B.T.B. Training

Tom Greenwood

This morning, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, FECTAB, held a press conference in Belize City to voice strong objection to a proposed training that would be provided by the Belize Tourism Board ahead of tour operators and guides renewing their respective licenses. FECTAB and its membership weren’t having it and argued vehemently that an introductory course on tourism, particularly for seasoned operators in the industry, is counterproductive. They got wind of the proposed requirements via a letter that was sent out by B.T.B. on Wednesday. FECTAB’s past president Tom Greenwood detailed the content of the letter, before taking a stand against what was being mandated.

 

Tom Greenwood, FECTAB

“Allow me to please read the letter which is in the form of a notice to all tour guides from the Belize Tourism Board, “B.T.B., advises all tour guides renewing and first-time applicants that to become eligible to be licensed as a tour guide, you’re required to complete both a general core and a professional core tour guide training. This has been a standing requirement since 2019 when the professional core was launched by the B.T.B.  All new and incoming tour guides must ensure that they have completed both modules prior to seeking a license with the B.T.B.” All, this is the important part, the beginning of it, no problem, that’s the way things should go. This is the part, “All currently licensed tour guides are reminded that if they have not previously completed the professional core module that they are also required to complete this prior to renewal of their licenses.  With regard to the latter, the B.T.B. will be releasing in the coming weeks a schedule of professional core courses that will be made available for currently licensed guides to satisfy the requirements.” Basically what that means is if you don’t complete this core training, licensed tour guides, the ones just going for it, it’s part of the program, but those who are licensed now, like myself and Dave [David Almendarez] and others here and approximately two thousand, two hundred guides nationwide, you are not going to be able to renew on the thirty-first of July. In essence, and roughshod, this is what it means: if you don’t do this yoh family noh wah eat cause you noh wah work. Well folks, maybe I’m an example. I’ve reached the tender age of seventy-eight, I’ve been tour guiding for over fifty years and I’m not going to take these courses. I’m not going to take them.  You stop me from getting a license, and I don’t know if you know that building on Regent Street with the big double steps leading up to that building in front of the park.  It’s called the Supreme Court. I’m sure the Supreme Court would be the right place to take such a situation to.”


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