The Ministry of Tourism, through the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has indicated that they recognize the growing private aviation industry and the potential for the tourism industry. Their acknowledgement came following an article printed in The San Pedro Sun on October 17th entitled “Belize slow at tapping into potential 1/2 billion dollar tourism market.” The response came after numerous attempts for comments prior to the story. BTB says that they are currently looking into the new potential tourism market as part of its mandate to expand Belize’s tourism capability.

The article came to light after Caribbean Flying Adventures cancelled a scheduled tour to Belize with over three dozen small private aircrafts. Instead, the US-based group, led by Jim Parker, decided to divert to neighboring Guatemala after authorities in Belize would not confirm an easier access to Belize. Caribbean Flying Adventures consists of private aircraft owners that fly all over the Caribbean and are part of a half-a-billion dollar industry that promotes tourism and boosts local economies.

According to the BTB letter addressed to The San Pedro Sun, they are trying their best to accommodate this emerging multimillion-dollar market. “With the introduction of any new product, we must ensure that the industry and infrastructure are ready and in place to accommodate. To that end, we are coordinating with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Belize Airport Concession and Company, Immigration and Customs, and across departments to thoroughly outline the needs associated with this service and allocate adequate funds to marketing and promoting private aviation in Belize.”

BTB explained that the Ministry of Tourism is working on a plan to accommodate such market. “We are currently evaluating the capabilities of multiple potential partners and will soon announce our plan for enabling private planes to operate in Belize. Mr. Parker represents only one vendor in this ‘½ billion dollar industry,’ and it is the BTB’s responsibility to ensure that we select partners that will best position us to successfully launch this new product and bring more tourists to Belize.”

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun