Tropic Air San Pedro - Island Style
It was all glitz and glamour last night at the Grand Opening of the Tropic Air terminal here in San Pedro. The new facility is awesome, and the party was like a "Who's Who" of Belize.
Holiday Hotel provided the bar service, which, I might add was par excellance, and the wonderful food was done by none other than Amy Knox of Wild Mango's. Amy is an award winning chef, and last night's fare leaves no doubt as to why.
Guests were screened at the door, and a band played outside. The decorations rivaled anything I've ever seen here, and lots of other places as well.
Great story and pics here:http://latitudesbelize.blogspot.com/2009/08/tropic-air-san-pedro-island-style.html
Tropic Air was founded 30 years ago as Tropical Airline service – since then it’s become the Belizean airline that moves the greatest number of passengers. And this weekend they took a giant leap forward with the opening of the multi- million dollar main terminal in San Pedro. We visited this weekend and found out when a building is more than just concrete and furniture.
Jules Vasquez Reporting,
It cost $4.6 million and the new Tropic Air Terminal is the cornerstone for Tropic Air’s operations.
John Grief, Tropic Air President
“Domestic is definitely our priority. We wish Maya all the success in the world with what they’re doing. We don’t think it is our particular area of expertise. We believe that here at home in Belize domestically, and with the possible exception of Flores and maybe Roatan, it is where Tropic belongs, and ￼this building and the purchasing of 11 new aircrafts last year is cementing our position in the domestic market.”
The terminal does suitably impress with a modern, stylish and quite corporate design complete with a glowing life-sized aquarium where lionfish and lobster share the same space. And while it has looks to space, Grief says functionality was the priority.
“We designed the building around flow; we said passengers come in, passengers, bags come in and bags come out so we drew that flow down and we put a building around it. We didn’t want just a big empty warehouse for people. We wanted something that kind of said wow when you walked in, and I think we found it with the aquarium.”
And flow does matter in this terminal which Grief says processes over 5,000 passengers daily travelling on the close to 100 Tropic flights coming in and out of this terminal every day. It’s a sizeable investment made in grim financial times for a declining tourism industry, and for that reason ￼one the Government – represented by both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Tourism - seemed eager to demonstrate support for it.
“Actually halfway through this project the world economy took a bit of a nosedive and we were very widely criticized within our company and without by spending all this money in such uncertain economic times. But we felt that the economy is cyclical, it swung bad and it will swing good again so we went ahead. But it definitely has affected our business.”
Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism
“We have been knocking at the doors of all airlines who have been meeting with travel agents, and this particular building proves that there is confidence in our administration and that even with the hard times, the economy being that bad, they are willing to invest.”
“I actually think the present Government is making a lot of right moves. Minister Heredia has got a firm grasp of the situation, he seems to have a lot of support from the Prime Minister and Cabinet and everybody else, so we think all their moves are the right moves.”
A worthy commendation from the president of a company that just put $4.5 million in the ground, but the truth is they’re in this together and for that investor confidence to not wear thin, Government will now have to do its part to make the promise of this investment real. Heredia seemed confident, even prophetic.
Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr.,
“I have strong confidence that come 2010, you will start to see the beginning of a different era in the tourism industry.”
The terminal was designed by Anthony Thurton.