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Dec 5, 2023

Belize to Host Inaugural World Sustainable Travel and Hospitality Awards

Belize has been chosen to host the inaugural 2024 World Sustainable Travel and Hospitality Awards, announced at the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. Recognized for its commitment to responsible tourism, Belize aims to showcase its sustainability practices on the global stage through this event. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo is in Dubai and was there for the announcement. Here is his report.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The Burj Al Arab is an iconic hotel in Dubai. Sitting on an artificial island, the Burj Al Arab is world renown for its seven-star status and gold elevators. And it is here- on the twenty-seventh-floor that a major announcement for Belize was made.


Glenn Mandziuk

Glenn Mandziuk, Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

“Why Belize? What better place on earth to showcase sustainability at its very best.”


Belize has been selected to be the official host of the inaugural 2024 World Sustainable Travel and Hospitality Awards. Recognized as a destination with a strong commitment to responsible tourism, CEO in the Ministry of Tourism, Nicole Solano, says that Belize integrates sustainable practices into its core values.


Nicole Solano

Nicole Solano, C.E.O., Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations

“This is the first of its kind under the World Travel Awards banner. So the importance of having the sustainable companies in tourism feature through this award is really what the objective is. And so they were looking for a destination that is known or is exemplary in terms of sustainable tourism and what other destination better than Belize. Belize isn’t known globally for that because we have been limited in our reach. But, being involved in an award like this will really elevate us and bring visibility on a global scale.”


Recognized as the travel industry’s premier awards program, the World Travel Awards honors trailblazers in global tourism, airlines, hotels, and hospitality. This global event is expected to put Belize on the international stage for its sustainability practices in tourism.


Glenn Mandziuk

“Having this happen in a country that showcases it the right, that has members from the hospitality industry, a commitment to tourism and a tourism development, it’s the right place. And it is the right message from where we need to take sustainability into the future because it has to start in the grassroots for it to blossom into the whole world really embracing it. The tourism industry has a really powerful opportunity to be the guardians of the planet, to be really be the stewards and Belize has showcased that. How it can be done. How it should be done. And so, I think that’s why this is an opportunity to bring the world to Belize to actually see it in action.”


The award will take place on September 27th- World Tourism Day. It will include over forty categories. Belize will set a stage for a first of its kind travel awards under the World Travel Awards. Executive Vice President Justin Cooke told News 5 that Belize can use this opportunity to share its best practices.


Justin Cooke

Justin Cooke, Executive Vice President, World Travel Awards
“There is a real kind of opportunity for Belize to take this best practice to the world and share that. It is only going to be through that sharing and that story telling of the kind of the how, we all know that. We all know the why. We don’t know that how and that is I suppose in the sense what Belize can bring to the world. Its like this is how we can do it. And by sharing these stories, we can basically help others tell their story.”


Belize will be the first to tell its story and the world will be listening.


Nicole Solano

“Tourism represents close to fifty percent of GDP and jobs, so we know that we are on a growth path for tourism, a sustainable growth path for tourism in Belize and so, being able to host an award like this will elevate our name, brand recognition and of course, the ultimate objective is to increase tourist arrivals, build infrastructure, encourage additional airlift. Right now, we do not have airlift out of Europe. We need to expand into new markets. The US is still our main market but there is a lot potential with a lot of new markers. We have to continue to build relationship and continue to look for opportunities for Belize.”


Reporting from Dubai, Hipolito Novelo 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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