Last week on November 26th, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) presented its idea for improving the San Pedro lagoon waterfront. As seen in the graphic displayed, the $6.5 million dollar renovation will comprise the area of the Old Football Field (Saca Chispas) and stretch to the end of the lagoon street on San Pedro Town. Although the idea to improve that area is not new, the presentation conducted by Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., Area Representative and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Chief Executive Officer in the BTB Mike Singh along with Terry Wright (Tourism/Environmental Specialist) and Christy Mastry (Physical Planning Specialist) gave residents a better idea of the dimension and scope of the tourism investment which is proposed to the island.

    The money being invested is in the form of loan received from the International Development Bank and the project is part of the Sustainable Tourism Program initiated by the BTB. The IDB loan is of US$15 million and will include development on tourism areas in Belize such as Placencia and Cayo and San Pedro who will also receive renovations in order to boost the tourism industry.

    Over 6.5 million dollars will be invested in a modern Boardwalk stretching more than 2,000 linear feet along the lagoon waterfront on the west side of town, in addition to a new Municipal Pier and Water Taxi Terminal. This investment will consolidate water travel to serve local and international traffic, provide new opportunities for leisure and commerce, build public-private partnerships for commercial and cultural growth, promote waterfront beautification, and further the overall enhancement of the area.

    Comments on the proposal were well received and participants in the consultation urged the people of San Pedro to “come forward and say what you have to say” in order to come up with a “peoples plan that will benefit everyone.” The consultation was the first in a series to be conducted as part of the process to develop the required feasibility assessment, prior to the drafting and presentation of actual blue prints for the development.

    The Question and Answer session revealed that most lagoon street residents’ concerns stemmed from having their piers/docks moved to another area (still in the lagoon). Others were concerned about the Commercial Spaces which will now occupy that area and the increase in possible traffic through the lagoon street. Funding is provided by the Government of Belize through the IDB loan, the Belize Tourism Board, and the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture. For more information about the program please contact the Project Co-ordinating Unit at info@sustainabletourismbz.org or visit the STP website: www.sustainabletourismbz.org.

San Pedro Sun