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May 31, 2022

Teakettle’s ATM Cave Gets Facilitation Centre

 The Aktun Tunichil Muknal or A.T.M. Cave in Teakettle Village has been a popular tourist destination, and with the opening of a newly-built facilitation centre, the archaeological site is expected to become even more famous to tourists, both locals and foreigners alike. The new facilitation centre has been under construction over the last sixteen months and on Monday, the Minister of Tourism along with the Cayo South Area Representative, where the facility is located, were on hand to open it. News Five’s Marion Ali files this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

The symbolic cutting of the ribbon, on Monday, at the Teakettle Aktun Tunichil Muknal Facilitation Center near the entrance to the cave bearing the same name at mile fifty-five on the George Price Highway, marked the start of a collaboration between the Belize Tourism Board and the office of Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat, to improve the tourism infrastructure in the immediate area of the popular archaeological site.


Minister of Tourism, Anthony Mahler, pointed out that the coming together of the two entities was a key ingredient in maximizing the tourism potential of the site.


Anthony Mahler

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism

“You can have the second largest barrier reef, you can have ATM caves, you have all the Maya sites, you have diverse people, but if you don’t have the adequate infrastructure to support it, your tourism growth and development will be stunted.”


The facility is one that,according to Espat, was long overdue.


Julius Espat

Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing

“The idea is that the tourism buses will stop here; they will have facilities that we should upkeep to the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness; we should be able to pick up the tickets that are needed to be able to access the cave; but most importantly, it will give the village council an opportunity to be able to have stalls where people can be able to sell their products. Most people are not aware but the basket-weaving, I believe in the entire country, comes out of Young Gyal”


The facility is expected to complement the cave’s natural features, which the Tourism Minister believes set it apart from other tour destinations.


Anthony Mahler

“It’s still today my favourite tour. If you look at all the trends after COVID, they’re saying that people want green spaces; people want a life-enhancing experience on their vacation. The vast majority of people want that and that is what ATM does. It is a truly, truly spiritual experience when you go through that cave with a knowledgeable guide.”


Marion Ali For News Five


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