The BTIA has a new board of officers elected today at its 25th Annual General Meeting. The meeting, which was attended by members from across the country, identified crime and garbage as major problems countrywide. Well that's not news to anyone but the new team of officers hope that they can meaningfully address the problem, particularly as it relates to the tourism industry.

Both outgoing and incoming presidents said that collaborative efforts can contribute to the sustainability of the environment and the longevity of a vibrant tourism industry:�.

Dr. Dionne Miranda
"The theme of my speech was harmony and the reality is that we need to work together. Unemployment is causing a lot of the problems that we have and tourism has the ability to turn that around by creating more jobs and it would key that we gain that level of harmony with our government and the private sector so that at the end of the day we can come up with a solution together that is best suited for the sustainability of this tourism industry and the Belizean people. A prosperous country is only prosperous when its citizens, its visitors and all of us are feeling some kind of benefit and security and that is key because although we may market the country and bring people to the country, we have to ensure that when they come it is safe, a pleasant and a great experience for them to return."

Jim Scott
"I think there is so much positive things going on and at the same time there is a lot of negative things going on in our society which affects our industry a great deal. Of course the environment and some of the social issues that we all have to deal with around the country. what we are looking to do is to find that core sampler just like our sugar industry has to improve their standards, we have to do the same, collaborating with BTB, ministry of tourism and all the other ministries because there is so inter related to what we do and hopefully get everybody excited about what tourism really brings to the table here in Belize."

The new BTIA Board includes: Incoming President: Jim Scott, First Vice President: Peter Tonti, Second Vice President: Ian Lizarraga, Treasurer Pedro Perez, Secretary Rob Hirons, Director: Wendy Lemus and Outgoing President: Dr. Dionne Miranda.

Channel 7