Commitment - Critical Factor for Tourism's Success
Once government, through it's ministries or other institutions, decides that tourism is of economic importance to the economy of Belize, it must then put in place some sort of plan. Many countries work on a series of long term plans, normally 10 years, with yearly revisions. Of course, in regards to short term needs vital to the economy one could devise relatively short term plans to meet specific goals. In both cases the success of these plans will rely on many key factors which must be kept in focus if there is to be success with any tourism plan, policy or established guidelines.

The first and single most important ingredient is commitment. To be successful, a strong level of commitment must be taken by all stakeholders including the private sector, politicians, government employees and local communities. This will ensure the broad-based support that is necessary for any plan. Of much importance to note, is that any plan or part thereof needs the highest levels of government support. Support is beneficial as it instills confidence of the local business and potential investors.

The commitment is often extremely challenging, particularly at community levels, as more than often self interest groups want to "have their cake and eat it. "A good example is San Pedro's current traffic situation. What was created as good legislation to assist with traffic control seems to be eroding daily, and at this juncture it is probably better to admit to failure in regards to having any type of shopping promenade as was establish with the closing of Barrier Reef Drive on weekends. Of course these examples are not only common to San Pedro. In up coming articles, other districts will be looked at, showing how failure to take the issue of commitment seriously affects our tourism industry as a whole. Until then... Tourism, We Make It Happen!

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