from Ray Auxillou, http://westernbelizehappenings.blogspot.com/

I saw and listened to a talk and concept proposal on television Wednesday night that was put forward by a very articulate speaker for using an IDB loan and Tourist Board tax collections money, to redesign and construct hot Tourist Zones in the centers of Belize City, San Pedro and Cayo twin towns. They were talking millions of dollars.

Like all such concepts and ideas thrown out on the floor, the speaker and audience were salaried employees with lots of ideas of spending other peoples money, to “hic” develop infra-structure, in their image. If they were mortgaging their own houses to do this it would be worthwhile listening to. This kind of thing is best left to private sector speculators, who do these things based on RISK capital and investors who sell shares in such mega million projects.

When bureaucrats come up with concepts for bettering the tourism product, that spends tax payer money, then one should beware! The history of such things, is collusion, corruption, graft, embezzlement of those loan monies, as they get siphoned off by both politicians and senior bureaucrats.

To speak of such things is a bit ridiculous, when OUR tourism product in Hillview, Santa Elena Town, does not even have graded streets and which would cost two days work with a grader once a month, to get rid of the pot holes and gullies ruining the cars and back axles of vehicles serving the tourist industries like the Aguada Hotel on the boulevard and Falconview Adventure Hostel. The holes and ravines in the streets are so big, that even in first gear, you are driving too fast. If you can’t maintain the tourist product and civic street access, that the private sector is already investing in; why are you talking about creating independent government owned stuff? Historically, in all countries, that only means corruption is behind the blarney. Let the private sector who put up the speculative risk capital deal with dreams and concepts. For bureaucrats, you do the infra-structure necessary to maintain what we invest in. You maintain existing infra-structure and we the private sector will invest where we think based on experience will show a return. Send a grader out into Santa Elena Town if you are so concerned about supporting tourism. Besides the ideas and concepts put forth by a non-risk person on a government salary is worthless for tourism. You have no idea what makes money without hard earned experience in the business. You have to gamble and lose before you learn. Ideas are often wrong in the market place, it is a question of trial and error. That is why the phrases “market demand” and “supply and demand” rule the REAL speculator/investors in tourism, agriculture and other businesses. No one knows beforehand, what concept, or idea will click!