The Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations and the Minister of Health and Wellness conducted a walkthrough at PGIA.
Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and
Diaspora Relations, along with Hon. Michel Chebat, Minister of
Health and Wellness made a visit to the Phillip Goldson
International Airport today. The purpose of their joint visit was to
personally observe flight arrival protocols with a view to addressing immediate concerns received from the tourism private sector.
The visitor experience and delays in processing arriving
passengers have been major concerns for the industry, and it is
expected that during the month of December, the number of
arriving tourists and Belizeans will only increase, compounding the
problem if it is not immediately addressed. The guest experience is
a priority, but so too is the health and safety of all frontline workers and arriving passengers, so the solutions must be carefully determined.
“It is no secret that the recovery of the tourism industry is critical to the country’s economic recovery, so it is imperative that the airport experience is addressed urgently. We must do everything we can
to address the concerns and avoid negative feedback, which
would be counterproductive to all the efforts we are making to
bring tourists back,” commented Hon. Anthony Mahler.
Both Ministers Mahler and Chebat did the walkthrough, together with personnel from Health, Tourism, Customs and Belize Airport Concession Company, where they did a detailed review of the process and protocols. They even had conversations with visitors to get direct feedback. This visit follows two previous visits within the last week carried out by the teams at the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, the Department of Civil Aviation and the Belize Tourism Board, so there is a good understanding of where the bottlenecks exist.
Various areas of concern exist, and these details have been noted and expressed to all relevant parties in an effort to find an immediate solution to the issues at hand. As a result, a plan will be developed to revise the current protocols and allow for better management of safe passenger flow. The systems at the Philip Goldson International Airport, the main entry point for Belize, must function optimally if Belize is to be successful in meeting the objectives of tourism recovery.