Belize focusing on a long-range master plan for tourism

A master plan to guide Belize's tourism development for the next 20 years is the goal of an agreement which the Ministry of Tourism has reached with Tourism & Leisure EuroPraxis Consulting.

EuroPraxis' beat out 46 other consulting firms in a competitive process which followed the Inter-American Bank's standard quality, cost-based procedure. Euro Praxis specializes in the tourism and leisure sectors worldwide, and recently completed a National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan for Panama and a strategic tourism development plan for Ecuador. The T & L team includes professionals in areas of tourism policy which includes physical planning; economic, environmental, social and sustainable development and communications to ensure a national perspective at every step.

The plan is intended to guide tourism investment and growth, and define strategies and activities providing distinct mapping to translate sustainable objectives into action.

It will be developed first to make an overall diagnosis of the position of Belize's tourism sector. The consultants will then develop a National Master Plan for sustainable tourism.

The third phase will develop specific plans for different destinations such as the Belize City waterfront, Ambergris Caye, San Ignacio and Placencia.

Interested parties in each district across the country will participate in each phase of the process, building on international best practice for sustainable tourism planning.

The end result should be a clear road map that employs a zone approach to tourism development. The final plan should be completed mid 2011.

This is the second contract signed to date under the Sustainable Tourism Program, which promises to devise and carry out numerous civil works, and capacity-building tourism projects.

International Environments Ltd, a Belizean entity, has been awarded a contract for the sum of Bz. $295,000, to undertake technical and environmental studies to develop architectural designs for a municipal pier and plaza to be built at Placencia Point.

The Reporter