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Dec 4, 2023

Tourism and Health are Critical to Belize’s Economy

The Regional Tourism and Health Program is an initiative that addresses the health, safety and environmental sanitation threats to tourism, with the goal of strengthening countries’ capacities to prepare and respond to public health threats.  The program is being carried out by the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA.  Earlier today, a delegation of health and tourism professionals met at the Belize Tourism Board to discuss the health of Belize’s travel and tourism industry.


Melissa Diaz Musa

Melissa Diaz Musa, Director, Public Health & Wellness

“This meeting is for us to ensure that we continue with the collaboration with tourism because tourism and health is very important.  Of course, we know that in Belize tourism is one of our main economic drivers and we need to ensure that persons are comfortable and persons are healthy and well when they visit our country.  The system, just to go a little bit into it, is a surveillance system that’s going to be linked to the Ministry of Health and Wellness.  So the information would be inputted by the tourism sector and what it is is that we are trying to ensure that we pick up very early any infectious diseases that can potentially become an outbreak.  And if we are able to learn about it earl, we’re then able to ensure that we prevent an outbreak and, of course, that we give the care that is needed.”


Eddie Herrera

Eddie Herrera, Tourism Officer

“This program started even before the pandemic.  Clearly the COVID-19 pandemic showed us that our tourism sector is very vulnerable to negative impacts from health, from other sectors as well, but from health, especially.  And we need together to ensure that our health sector and our tourism sector are able to help out each other to prevent any negative impact on any our sectors because, for example, a tourist can come in and bring a disease or illness to Belizeans, but also an outbreak of some illness can affect our tourism sector.  So we need to work together to ensure that we can prevent instances where our sectors are affected.”

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