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07/05/11 11:38 AM
07/05/11 11:38 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 24
ACCSD Offline OP
ACCSD  Offline OP
Tuesday July 5th 2011
You are invited to attend the presentation of the Belize National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan and the draft Physical Tourism Development Plan for Ambergris Caye
Venue and time: SunBreeze Hotel
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

07/06/11 02:25 PM
07/06/11 02:25 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 24
ACCSD Offline OP
ACCSD  Offline OP
Excerts from the Belize National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan: see the whole @;task=cat_view&gid=34&Itemid=55

The main pillar and inspiration of this Master Plan is CONSERVATION. Major tourism that differentiate Belize from other Caribbean and Central American destinations are the generally unspoiled natural environment and cultural resources. The Barrier Reef and Cays of Belize, and the Mayan antiquities are world class by any standard. The simple truth is that if the Tourism Industry in Belize is to provide a long-term benefit to Belize, the natural environment must take center stage in any and all planning regimes.

AMBERGRIS CAYE: Contain development and consolidate

Northern Islands: In Ambergris Caye, San Pedro will be regarded as a charming and attractive destination including a vibrant town with a walkable and attractive waterfront experience where beaches able to be enjoyed and unobstructed water scenery. Caye Caulker will continue to offer low-key charm along with attractive beaches and a cultural offering. Both destinations will provide a mainly nature-based niche product as well as nautical and sun&beach in second rank.


In terms of development the conceptual principle for the northern islands destination is to constrain the development and consolidate and improve what it has already been built. Keeping in mind the mentioned idea, both the existing settlements in Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are defined as infill and completion of existing town / village. The case of San Pedro is further developed in the following sections of this document. the proposed 338 new hotel rooms two different strategies are put in place. On the north tip of Ambergris Caye three very low density resort hotels are planned outside from Bacalar Chico National Park. In order to minimize the impacts on the environment the areas chosen have been previously disturbed

On second place the plan proposes some small low density new developments off the main road leading north and after the bridge north from San Pedro. The idea is to complete some of the areas that have already been recently urbanized. As commented on section 4 for Ambergris Caye this study proposes to develop studies to convert into hotel units the empty apartments or unfinished compounds built around the main road north from San Pedro


 Level 1 (around 4 units/acre - 10 units/hectare) : New developments north of San Pedro

 Level 2 (up to 20 units/acre - 50 units/ hectare): San Pedro, Caye Caulker, 3 designated areas north Ambergris Caye


From 2012 to 2020, the Northern Islands will see the development of 233 new hotel rooms and a further 105 from 2021 until 2030, adding up to a total of 338 new hotel rooms by 2030. In order to maintain the occupancy rate on a positive growth track, no additional hotels should be introduced until 2013. These few years are recommended to be devoted to the development and distribution of special incentives for the restoration, embellishment and modernization of the existing tourism accommodation facilities.

In addition, a series of operational strategies are recommended to be identified in order to convert condominiums into hotel facilities or condo-hotels. This strategy was identified as especially Ambergris Caye’s tourism industry experiences distress with condominium being empty for long periods at times and tourists who use them do not consume additional tourism services.

The first new hotels and resorts in the Northern Islands are recommended to open in 2014. The main developments are to open in 2015 and 2020 given that, mainly serving as a complement to the sun & beach resorts of the destination and northern area low-density luxury developments.

From 2025 onwards, only few hotels/hotel rooms with low density will be introduced

07/07/11 09:59 PM
07/07/11 09:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,507
Short Offline
Short  Offline
July 07, 2011

The Ministry of Tourism is hosting a series of presentation on the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan. The project was presented to stakeholders on Ambergris Caye on Tuesday night.

Jorge Aldana reporting...
“The National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan is considered one of the bravest undertakings in recent years by the Ministry of Tourism. The National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan, which took months to be formulated, outlines and shapes the way forward for developers to invest in sustainable tourism in Belize up to 2030. The plan was presented on Tuesday night to stakeholders on Ambergris Caye. Christy Mastre is the Physical Planner for the National Sustainable Program.

Christy Maestre - Physical Planner, National Sustainable Program
“One of the key components of the national tourism plan is that it really puts conservation at the forefront. And not so much conservation in the exact eco environment sense but really conservation of actual land use and so it is really at the forefront of how we are to develop and to scale back development in some areas, restrict growth even in some areas. Looking at the land itself and how we should be growing and the scale we should be growing at appropriately as opposed to kind of a haphazard way that it has been happening."

Jorge Aldana - Reporter
How do you attract investors who want to invest in high end resorts in Belize?

Christy Maestre - Physical Planner, National Sustainable Program
We can definitely attract investors, High end resorts are often some of the lowest density resorts because they are looking for the remoteness, the uniqueness and like we said the eco sensitiveness of the area. So high end investors will definitely be attracted by the commitment the Ministry of Tourism is putting forth to actually restrict the scale of development in certain areas and kind of commit to the investor that when they buy a property that they really are protected by a master plan and a future area of growth for the region. The idea of the master plan is to really guide and invite investors to our country and when they get here to really direct them to an area that their investment that their development would most appropriately be suitable.”

One of the key components of the master plan is Ambergris Caye. Currently the island is experiencing the consequences of the rapid growth because of improper planning. But how does this master plan addresses the continued growth of the island already stress out because of the inadequate sewage disposable, constant destruction of mangrove for large development and inadequate infrastructure? Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture Manuel Heredia Jr. says there will be firm commitments made in the master plan as to how they will allow developments to continue of the already fragile island.

Manuel Heredia Jr. – Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture
“There will be very firm recommendations that are being made as to the type of development. As to the way you deal with back area of the island versus the beach side. In particular I will see what will happen. There is recommendations that probably that we go back to the 33 feet rather than the 44 that we have today for area farther north of San Pedro."

The brave undertaking by the Ministry of Tourism hopes to put the master plan to the test by next year. Stakeholders in the tourism industry are hoping that the plan is not shelf like other attempts made by successive and previous administration. Heredia Jr. says that after all the consultations are conducted and the stakeholders are satisfied with it, he will propose to Cabinet to have the tourism master plan legislated as the blue print for the tourism industry up to 2030.

Live and let live
07/16/11 09:17 AM
07/16/11 09:17 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,383
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy

Marty  Online Happy
Belize has $26 million to spend on a Master Tourism Plan! Belize City, Ambergris Caye, Placencia and Cayo are top spots

The Government of Belize has secured a loan of $26.6 million Belize dollars from the Inter-American Development Bank to fund a tourism project for Belize which aims at doubling the overnight tourism trade.

Doubling overnight stay to Belize to 897,376 visitors a year by the year 2030 is the goal of the Tourism Master Plan, which the Belize Tourism Board unveiled at a special presentation to industry professionals and entrepreneurs at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Monday afternoon, July 11.

Tourism is the main engine of growth in Belize and the principal source of foreign exchange. But it is largely dependent on the country’s natural and cultural resource base.

The industry has been growing steadily at a rate of 5.4% per year, even though planning for infrastructural development and investment is limited and done largely on an ad hoc basis. What policies and frameworks were in place to guide the industry were under-used because they were not widely published.

The BTB’s new Master Plan, prepared by the Spanish firm Tourism & Leisure Europraxis Consulting of Barcelona, addresses this need by presenting a clear road-map to guide the Government and tourism industry investors over the next 20 years.

The plan is based on sustainable tourism principles and practices, dividing the country into six zones and following a zoning approach to tourism development.

Four destination plans have been prepared: for San Ignacio, a Town Center Urban Design Strategy and Action Plan; for Belize City - a Waterfront Strategy and Development Plan; For Ambergris Caye: a Tourism Development Plan; for Placencia Peninsula, a Tourism Development Plan and a Disaster Risk Management Plan.

The Sustainable Tourism Program is a response to challenges facing the industry which must be overcome if the tourism sector is to grow in a economically, environmentally and socially sustainable manner.

The overall objective is “to define strategies and activities.....that will catalyze the further development of Belize’s tourism sector to promote local participation and development based on sustainable tourism principles and practices

The key principles of sustainable tour-ism are defined as “environmentally sensitive business operations, support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage, and tangible economic and social benefits to local people”.

The plan is to strengthen contributions to the national economy by consolidating the overnight tourism market with investments and activities along three fronts:

1. to enhance the tourism experience, to achieve sustainability at consolidated destinations subject to pressure;

2. to diversify the tourism products in emerging destinations for tourists who stay overnight, and

3. to strengthen tourism institutions for policy, planning and management.

Approximately 80% of the funds, or some twenty-two million Belize dollars will be allocated to the first component.

This investment will cover feasibility studies, environmental assessments and final designs for civil works to improve the quality of the natural and cultural tourism product within the four key tourism destinations: Placencia Peninsula and Village; San Ignacio and surroundings; Ambergris Caye and Belize City.

The main idea behind the selection of these destinations is town core development and enhancement to encourage longer stays by the overnight visitors. The project aims to engage the local communities, providing spin-off benefits to the residents, and catalyzing further investment and growth from the revitalized areas.

Another $ 4.8 million Bze. will be invested in technical assistance, specialized studies, training and other capacity-building activities, including development of this Master Plan.

The Reporter

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