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Jul 3, 2013

B.T.I.A. expresses support for pocket tourism

At its annual general meeting this morning, the Belize Tourism Industry Association expressed support for a policy of pocket tourism in line with the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan which was passed October of last year. The B.T.I.A. is also looking to increase its membership countrywide. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.


Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Stakeholders from across the country attended today’s Annual General Meeting of the Belize Tourism Industry Association. It was not only a time for reviewing their membership which now stands at 390, but also to address the giant on their steps, cruise tourism.


Rob Hirons

Rob Hirons, Chairman, B.T.I.A. Toledo

“Increased active membership is a priority. Nationally, B.T.I.A.’s advocacy is aimed at protecting the industry and its dependent jobs from threats that comes in many guises. The danger of killing the golden goose of tourism through over-taxation in the most productive sector of the economy must be avoided. And there has always been tension between high volume cruise ship tourism that generates little income and few jobs and low volume overnight tourism that generates eighty-four percent of income from tourism and creates one in four jobs in Belize. This is the bedrock of our industry. We agree with B.T.B.’s policy stated in its master plan that pocket tourism is the only acceptable form of tourism is south-eastern coastal Belize. B.T.I.A. and its members have worked tirelessly over the past twenty-eight years to build the tourism industry. And we have too much to lose and too little to gain in any further expansion of mass cruise tourism. I can do nothing other than speak out when commercial interests attempt to drive coach and horses and a few cruise ships through what everyone believed was settled tourism policy.”


The task of forwarding those concerns about mass cruise tourism now falls on a new B.T.I.A. team.


Estela Requeña

Estela Requeña, Executive Director, B.T.I.A.

“The tourism industry in Belize is one that is exciting and offers boundless opportunities for many in the country including myself. I am new to this industry and bring a wealth of experience in sales, customer service and networking. I became the executive director and part of the secretariat of the Belie Tourism Industry Association in April of this year and intend to use my past and new experiences for the best interests of the B.T.I.A. and its membership. The success of the organization and any activity pursued will depend on the integral role played by the secretariat. The secretariat is a three member team that works under the directives of the Board’s Executive Committee and its main objective is to coordinate, and implement policies and procedures in the association’s key focus areas. The team is new and the two other members and Miss Osiely Mendez and Miss Talia Tillett. Osiely started with the B.T.I.A. in April as well and carries out daily operational functions of the secretariat with particular emphasis on performing accounting duties and support membership and administrative services. Talia has been a members of the secretariat for two years and her main focus is on the marketing, membership, management and support. The changes in the secretariat roles have allowed the functionality of the office to be streamlined.”


Herbert Haylock, B.T.I.A. President

Herbert Haylock

“It has been a challenging time. I expected no less of a challenge and I certainly do not foresee the next six months in 2013 or the remainder of my term to be any less demanding. As you heard earlier, there have been some changes effective at the secretariat across several fronts including of personnel changes. I must underscore to our members that these changes were executed with you in mind and always with you at the fore of where we are headed as an association. Our direction forward is and will continue to be focused on the opportunities for the majority. And if you notice on the podium, it is pretty much our thematic position for today and where we are going. We now have a compliment of three staff members as you’ve heard; focused on delivering quality and timely service to you, our valued membership. We are able to deliver real time feedback on the operational financial inflows and outflows of your association. Critical, current and live information that allows your board of directors the latitude to be able to make positively impacted decisions for you as members have also been one of the pluses of that structural change.”


The Belize Tourism Expo, BETEX 2014 logo, was released.


Denise Ockey

Denise Ockey, BETEX Board

“We are very pleased to announce that we have identified an experienced event coordinator. They will soon join the staff at the secretariat and work alongside the committee to ensure that BETEX 2014 is our best show yet. And as Herbert had asked me to mention, one of the things that the planning committee has looked at is what we can do in the off-year from BETEX 2014. So there is a strategy session to identify whether or not fam trips or additional marketing…what other initiative could the B.T.I.A. do in the off-year from BETEX to help and ensure that we provide benefits for all of the membership.”


Cheques were handed over from Courts Belize for five thousand dollars and from the Development Finance Corporation for six thousand five hundred dollar. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.


The association hopes to double its membership. 

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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2 Responses for “B.T.I.A. expresses support for pocket tourism”

  1. simone says:

    bunch of self serving scaremongers

  2. who are u? says:

    Mr. Simone who are you to judge? Do you work in the tourism industry? If not…then shut up and keep quiet.
    It’s my livelihood here at play. I have worked 26 years in the tourism industry. My bread is not buttered on both sides like yours.

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