Minister of Tourism Hon. Manuel Heredia and Dr. Jaime Awe

A new Master Plan for the Tourism Sector has been approved for Belize. The plan, named the National Sustainable Master Plan has a timeline to 2030 and was approved by Belize’s leading officials on October 30th, 2012. The expertly made Xunantunich Ferry, delivered to the people of Succotz on November 1st was just one of the ‘deliverables’under that Master Plan. Speaking to those gathered last Thursday in the Village of Sucotz, Dianne Haylock of the National Institute of Culture and History NICH thanked the Inter -American Development Bank IDB for providing the funds for this Master plan.

The Master Plan, co-financed by the Belize Tourist Board (BTB) is a result of some twenty two months of consultation. In June of this year, personnel from the Ministry of Tourism & Culture had written to industry partners and gotten endorsements from various agencies. The Master Plan has come to reflect the full importance that the Belize tourism product provides - some five hundred million dollars to GDP; with intentions of creating more employment by building a high value and low impact product. In so doing, the plan seeks the creation of social hubs in Placencia, San Pedro, Belize City and San Ignacio and the fruitions of that labour are already being seen.

In the Cayo District, that hub is already revving with centrifugal force, with intention to create a multiplier effect to other businesses. That became most evident on Tuesday night of this week when the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) teamed up to sensitize business leaders surrounding the social hub of ‘Down-town San Ignacio’ about the many opportunities now available to them.

“Down-town San Ignacio is undergoing transformation…we hope to see more businesses in Down-town San Ignacio; especially in the Tourism Sector”, said John August, Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. While Mayor August awaits home owners to make aesthetic improvements to their buildings, other businesses will be relied upon to make the National Master Plan work.

“The private sector will invest in this tourism master plan”, says Valdemar Andrade, Technical Advisor within the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

The Guardian