BTB's New Board Put TogetherAs we reported last night, The Belize Tourism Board is witnessing an excellent out-turn in overnight tourist arrivals so far for 2012.
But, while things are good, the governance of the BTB continues to be an issue. First there was the fiasco with Director Seleni Matus, and then CEO Lindsey Belisle left right after the election. Now, there's a new CEO - who is the old director, Tracy Panton - and the Board of Directors has a new chairman and directors.
Yesterday Tourism Minister Manuel Junior Herredia outlined the new Board membership for us:...
Hon. Manuel Herredia Jr., Minister of Tourism
"We have done slightly changes in particularly at BTB with the board. Now I have a mixture of the stakeholders and the private sector working together."
"Ian Lizarraga, he understands the industry. He is a person that is fair and I think he is committed to this industry, so I can guarantee that you will see improvement."
"Last night as you saw BETEX was particularly well attended. You could feel emotions over there. Everyone is happy and everybody is trying to do the best of it and that we intend to continue doing."
"We have an attorney and we need that advice while we are over there. Many times they are having their meetings - we have to consult with a legal advisor. if we have someone that can give you on-hand advise then it is there."
"We have a combination as I said - we still have Mr. Guererro that was the vice chair before and I think in the first year of our administration he was the chair. We have Mr. Jim Scott, the president of BTIA who is also on the board. We need continuity also, the new ones we have Roger Espejo and we have Mr. Robert Pennell from down south. We try to have a cross section."
"We have someone that I definitely feel will bring a lot of energy to this industry - Mr. Orlando de la Fuente from Orange Walk."
And while the new CEO and new Board is in place, there's no new Director. Reports are that long time BTB employee Laura Esquivel may be the pick for that one.