The BTIA, San Pedro chapter, met Wednesday, Feb 27th at Celiís Restaurant. Catherine Paz, Chairperson, introduced the four areas in which members will focus attention this year: BETEX 2008; an Ambergris Caye Summit; Training; and a Mexican Marketing Initiative.
BETEX 2008 is an international trade show for travel agents sponsored every two years by the BTIA. In 2006, the show was held in Belize City. This year a portion of the show will be held here, in San Pedro at the end of July. Only members of BTIA will be allowed to take part in this well publicized, important event. Everyone concerned with the tourism industy should become involved. We will be competing with the other destinations in Belize for business. This is our chance to showcase what Isla Bonita has to offer. With that in mind, one of the first orders of business was to increase membership so more businesses on the island can benefit. (Donít wait to be called. Contact one of the officers)
The second idea presented was for an Ambergris Caye Summit to be held in a few months. The idea is for various non governmental and governmental groups (the BTIA, the San Pedro Business Association, the Chamber, the Lions Club, the Taxi Associations, the North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood watch committee, Green Reef, the Tour Guide Association Ė to name just a few) on the island to meet to support each other Ė to identify specific areas of concern for each group so there is little duplication of effort, time and money. Since all of us are equally concerned about most issues, the idea is to identify each groupís area of greatest concern at a meeting this spring; and at the end of the year, we will meet again to see what progress has been made toward alleviating those concerns.
The third item discussed was what BTIA will put forward to the Summit as its goal for this year. The BTIA, in keeping with its mission of promoting sustainable tourism, will emphasize training. Training of not only service people Ė front desk, bartenders, housekeeping, yard men, wait staff Ė but more specifically the people who are often forgotten yet are very visible to tourists: taxi drivers, children on bicycles, and drivers in general.
The final item presented is for a miniature trade show aimed at the Mexican market to be held here in May followed by a presence in Mexico City in September.
Anyone interested in joining or learning more is encouraged to contact any of the local chapter officers: Catherine Paz, Chairperson, Tropic Air; Javier Williams, Vice Chair, Victoria House; Laura Pacheco, Treasurer, Banyan Bay; Terry Anderson, Member at large, Mata Rocks; and Julie Babcock, Secretary, Caye Casa.