Today the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation hosted a consultation for stakeholders to discuss updates made to their National Tourism Policy. The Ministry has been working with various organizations both within and outside the government to form a plan that will facilitate positive tourism growth. We spoke to the Ministry's CEO, and the main consultant about the policy...

Yashin Dujon, CEO - Ministry of Tourism
"The national tourism police is an exercise to actually formulate a national policy and updated national tourism policy for the country that will govern the growth and development the tourism moving forward. The policy is based on sustainable tourism principles, so focusing on the social economic and environmental values that we use in the tourism industry on a daily basis and also integrating culture and management into the way forward for us."

"To date we've been working on a document such as the Blackstone report which dates back to 2005 and several other white papers that have been drafted, that have been pushing tourism forward. You would be aware that in 2008-2009 we launched the sustainable tourism master plan which engage and identified need for a policy to be drafted. So we are actually executing upon the finding of the master plan now and realizing the policy for the country."

"The police has been done on a consultancy basis, we've travelled countrywide and met with a broad spectrum of people to cover different basis. As you know tourism overlaps into areas of agriculture, medical tourism, production of food, employment, transportation and other things that need to be considered as well. So we are really happy to see the broad representation that's in the room today."

Richard Denman, Director - The Tourism Country
"The key thinkers are thinkers really been emphasize that this country here has an absolutely fantastic and natural heritage in small area both marine and also terrestrial. So you are in a very special position and the thing which is being most underlined I think throughout all of my work is the importance of conserving that fantastic heritage and using tourism as a positive force. Tourism benefits from that, but can also pay back to that. That's really being the fundamental component. Alongside that I think we have to place the wellbeing of local Belizeans and what's being stress to me fundamentally is that we need to make sure that we got the right policies in place to get young people more enthusiastic about their country, more enthusiastic about the opportunities that tourism can bring to them, in terms of a career opportunities and so on. There is a lot more that we can be doing about training, about the quality of jobs and quality of employment for Belizeans so that this country can benefit even more from this fantastic heritage that you've got and that's really essentially what I've been trying to take forward."

Stakeholders seemed to approve of the policies introduced in the document, but voiced concerns about whether or not they will see them actually implemented by government.

Channel 7

Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation Presents Draft Update to the National Tourism Policy

Over 90 public, private and civil sector tourism stakeholders attended a presentation of the draft update to the National Tourism Policy held in Belize City on August 3, 2017. Dr. Richard Denman, the consultant contracted for the revision process, presented the draft revised National Tourism Policy, which will guide the sustainable and resilient development of tourism in Belize for the next ten years. The revised National Tourism Policy was drafted after extensive consultations with tourism sector stakeholders in February and May of 2017. The policy is a deliverable of the Sustainable Tourism Program II, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, through the support of the Inter-American Development Bank. During the forum, stakeholders were able to provide recommendations to further refine the draft policy.

Within the next few months, a Policy Working Group, which includes members of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, the Belize Hotel Association, the Belize Tourism Board, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, the National Institute of Culture and History and the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, will guide the finalization of the revised draft policy.

The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation hereby expresses its sincere gratitude to all partners and stakeholders that participated in the forum and looks forward to continue partnering in the development of sustainable tourism in Belize.