The Ministry of Tourism has appointed Seleni Matus to be the new Director of Tourism, succeeding Tracy Taegar Panton.
She is presently an advisor for the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (C.E.L.B)ís Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative.
Matus comes with over five years managerial experience in ecotourism and sustainable development, including project design and management, sustainable tourism strategy development, business planning for small and medium-size enterprises, marketing and tourism industry promotion, fundraising, partnership development, and training and community capacity building.
In her current capacity at Conservation International, Seleni provides technical support and oversight for implementation of C.E.L.B.ís travel and leisure engagements in northern Mesoamerica.
She had also worked as Ecotourism Manager at Conservation International, providing capacity-building and technical assistance to country programs in Latin America.
In Belize, she managed Programme for Belizeís ecotourism operations and provided technical support at its headquarters and to field stations. She played a key role in the establishment of the Mesoamerican Ecotourism Alliance (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico), serving as a founding member and its first President.
At Conservation International, she advised the formulation of the first ever Environmental Action Plan for Belize, which had the potential to serve as a model for cruise line travel destinations around the world. This Environmental Action Plan provides a framework to involve Belizeean cruise tourism stakeholders in making their industry sustainable.
Matus has also engaged local and international stakeholders in the region on sustainable development programs in those countries and in Belize.
Matus holds a Masters Degree (With Distinction) in Corporate Strategy and Governance from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom and a Bachelorís Degree in Personnel Management from Viterbo College. She has ten years of professional experience in designing and directing innovative initiatives that have mainstreamed sustainable tourism principles into key sectors of the tourism industry.
Celini Matus is currently in Washington and is expected to assume her post shortly.