A series of hotel regulations proposed by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), with the aim to improve the minimum standards for the hotel industry in the country, is expected to be officially legislated by the end of the year. The regulations focus on Health, Safety, Security, and Emergency measures. The BTB claims that they have been visiting different tourism chapters around the country, in particular, the accommodation sector, informing them of the regulation process and guiding them in preparation to comply with the regulations when they become policy.

Herbert Haylock of the BTB stated that for three years, they have been consulting with different stakeholders around the country in order to come to a mutual agreement on the proposed regulations. According to him, after dialoguing and answering questions pertaining to the recommendations, they are now focusing mainly on the health and safety of the customers. “At the different hotels we have visited, we are inspecting their emergency plan if the staff is trained to deal with issues such as fires and emergency evacuations,” Haylock said. “At the same time, we are working with them and letting them know where they need to improve in order to meet the requirements when we move to the legal phase of the proposal,” Haylock says feedback from stakeholders countrywide has been good. “Even though people still have questions, they are working with us and whenever we ask for adjustments in some of their services, they have given us evidence that they are taking our recommendations,” he said. He added that the visits also served to check furnishings and hotel rooms, including linen colors, among other small details.

The new legislation of the approved minimum standards is expected to come into effect by the time all tourism stakeholders renew their licenses at the end of 2018. The 5th draft of the policy can be found at http://www.belizetourismboard.org/tourism-resources/tourism-policies.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun