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Dec 12, 2007

77 complete tourism training courses

Story PictureThis afternoon certification ceremonies were held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza for a series of training courses held earlier this year. According to the Belize Tourism Board’s Product Development Manager, Anthony Mahler, the seventy-seven men and women recognized today have passed the rigorous standards of Johnson and Wales University, the American Hotel and Lodging Association and the Culinary Institute of America in hospitality, food and beverage, bartending and culinary arts.

Anthony Mahler, Product Development, B.T.B.
“That is the only way we can compete if our people are well trained and prepared to serve the people who come here in Belize.”

Janelle Chanona
“Where do you think this takes our level of service now?”

Anthony Mahler
“Well it’s a start. As you can recall the B.T.B. had a project funded by I.D.B. and the government of Belize to develop a tourism training unit that ran its course and now this is the continuation of the process whereby the B.T.B. focuses on line training and specialised training and the institutions that we have agreements with, tertiary institutions and some secondary institutions, provide the basic tourism training.”

Janelle Chanona
“So the message the tourist and the public alike will be we are getting more professional?”

Anthony Mahler
“Yes. We are upgrading and we will be able to compete as a tourism destination globally.”

Godfrey Smith, Minister of Tourism
“All around us you can see – if you’ve been to north Ambergris, if you’ve been to Hopkins, if you’ve been to Placencia – you’ll see that the great construction that’s going on is related to the hotel sector, it’s related to the tourism industry. They are all signs, my friend, that we are looking at a business in Belize, the tourism business, that has a lot, huge potential to grow and develop, to help us to make money – I mean us, families, people – and to take the country forward. At the end of the day bear in mind that for whatever progress we make, whatever shiny, tall condos are built and hotels are built and no matter how spanking brand new the runway is and how wonderful everything else it all means nothing if the people who deliver the service – one human being to a next human being, the tourist – if that is not up to par we are not gonna get where we want to go. But I am very certain that with the enthusiasm I see here and every year that we are going to get there.”

This year’s graduates included nine Belizeans who are qualified as international trainers by the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Similar sessions are being planned for summer 2008. The trainees paid a small fee for the courses but the bulk of the costs were covered by the B.T.B.

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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