Belt-tightening at B.T.B., PM Says Situation Under Control
The Belize Tourism Board is in a financial crunch and has been for some time. The company which is responsible for marketing Belize, we are told, has had to impose serious austerity programs after amassing debts in the millions of dollars. Sources at the Ministry of Tourism point to mismanagement as one factor, but also point out that the B.T.B. has been used as a political dumping ground and is hopelessly overstaffed. News Five has confirmed that the HR budget, which includes salaries, allowances and increments, is second only to marketing. We asked Prime Minister Barrow about it, and he admits to the financial crunch, while claiming that the matter is under control.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“I know that there have been some pressures and I have been aware of that for some time…that there is a bit of a hole that they are seeking to get out of, but I am not aware that there is any exacerbation of that situation. In terms of the industrial relations, I really don’t know about that aspect of the issue but I’m sure that the people at the B.T.B., the Director…Mrs. Bevans and the Board of Directors of the Belize Tourism Board…I am sure will have the industrial relations aspect of things well in hand.”
News Five understands that one cost-cutting measure is where increments are concerned. Previously staff members were evaluated every year and compensated based on performance. Now, we are told, those evaluations will take place every three years.