The Belize Tourism Industry Association held its 29th Annual General Meeting today at the Radisson. For outgoing President Herbert Haylock, it was the end of a two year term - and he told us that as an advocacy organization, BTIA has to continue the earn the confidence of its stakeholders - which can be a challenge:..

Herbert Haylock, President, BTIA
"There are a number of things as you rightly say impacting the industry today. We continue to be voicing concerns about those issues and that we take a stand, for example to ensure that development, in terms of the context on development that we want to see for this country continues and the way we would like it to continue."

Jules Vasquez
"Do you lament the fact that BTIA really is not in a great place. I don't think you all have an ED. I don't know that you do and also membership of the BTIA is opportunistic. At best you have a lot of people who aren't engaged."

Herbert Haylock, President, BTIA
"We've spent the last 4 months looking at realigning what are the strategic objectives of BTIA and where we go and what are going to be. We do have what is our critical plan in place going forward for the association and going forward for where we want the association to be for recruiting, for engaging, re-engaging members that have walked away from the association over the years or perhaps lost interest, looking at taking on new members that see value because we've seen interest in terms of what we are doing and the benefits that are accruing from new members that have been coming onboard."

The main event at today's AGM was the election of a new President,. Osmany Salas, who is the current Chairperson of the Orange Walk BTIA Chapter. He has committed to Recruit an Executive Director by February 2015 and, quote, "Significantly increase the BTIA membership."

Channel 7

Friday, December 5, 2014, Belize City, Belize – The Belize Tourism Industry Association held its 29th Annual General Meeting on December 5, 2014,† at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina.

The event was well attended by BTIA members, dignitaries, industry partners and invited guests.† The AGM provided the audience with the Association’s annual report on activities, issues undertaken in 2014 and the elections of new board members. Mr. Herbert Haylock completed a successful two year term, which culminated at the AGM and now assumes the post of the Immediate Past President of the Association.

Guest Speaker Mrs. Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism for the Belize Tourism Board, shared on the importance of building strong relationships with the different sectors that contribute to the growth and enhancement of Belize’s tourism industry.(Please click here to view a full copy of her speech)

The main highlight of this year’s AGM was the election of a new BTIA President for 2015-2016, Mr. Osmany Salas, current Chairperson of the Orange Walk BTIA Chapter and General Manager of Nahil Mayab Restaurant & Patio, Orange Walk Town.† Mr. Salas was unanimously voted in as the new President by the BTIA members in attendance. He addressed the audience on what he intends to accomplish during his term.† In his address, he listed the following targets to be accomplished during 2015:

  1. Recruit an Executive Director by February 2015;
  2. Significantly increase the BTIA membership;
  3. Support the formation of new Destination Chapters for Belmopan and the Belize District;
  4. Support the strengthening of the Destination Chapters and the relationship between the Chapters and the National Secretariat;
  5. Develop further the financial viability of BTIA;
  6. Organize BTIA’s 30th Anniversary celebrations;
  7. Launch BTIA’s revenue sharing mechanism for Destination Chapters;
  8. Develop an online strategy to promote BTIA;
  9. Launch the Destination Belize Campaign for 2015; and
  10. Strengthen the Association’s relationship with its partners, in particular with the Belize Tourism Board and the Belize Hotel Association.

The other two officers that were elected included the new First Vice- President, Ms. Valerie Woods, and Second Vice-President, Mr. Stewart Krohn.

As we come to the end of another successful year, the BTIA takes this opportunity to thank all members, sponsors and other stakeholders for their continuous commitment and support during the past year. We look forward to continue expanding a robust and professional membership Association, and to advocate and represent the interests of our members and the community, for the benefit and sustainable development of the tourism industry.