BTIA holds Annual General Meeting; New President elected
The Belize Tourism Industry Association, BTIA, held its annual general meeting today in Belize City. Executive director John Burgos spoke about some of the key elements of today’s meeting and the BTIA’s achievements over the past year.
Executive Director John Burgos: “The two main achievements that we are proud of is that we were able to serve the membership by providing a new series of training opportunities. We did a Serve Safe Training for cooking staff and we did also first aid and CPR training and we also provided a fire prevention and fire extinguisher training for members. Also for the first time we did an innovation and Tourism Talk whereby we had special international representatives from Google and More Turismo who is a digital marketing company, Expedia and Tripadvisor. So these people were able to address some of the concerns and some of the issues of the industry and at the same time share the great opportunities they offer the platforms. Secondly we were able to publish the the 20th edition of Destination Belize and its not only about having a printing magazine available but for this year we were able to expand on the branding of Destination Belize. We are going to offering two key things;, one of them is that for the first time going to be available in Spanish and secondly we are going to have the Destinationbelize.com website that is going to bring the magazine to life and in that website we are also going to be able to feature videos for advertisers and also from various destinations. We have videos of the drum making in Hopkins, we have videos of hudut making in Dangriga and videos of that sort you know, the Maya fireball game (the Pok Ta Pok) and it’s going to provide the platform whereby we are going to engage international potential tourists to have one hub where they can find all the information they need about Belize and all these attractions.”
After the elections concluded, Melanie Paz from San Pedro is the new President of BTIA. Stewart Krohn was re-elected as 2nd Vice President.
BTIA elects New President
The Belize Tourism Industry Association held it's 33rd Annual General Meeting today at the Biltmore. And, as it does at every AGM, the executive updated members country-wide on what the association has been doing to push for progress within the industry.
We spoke with the Executive Director about some of the highlights from this year's AGM:
John Burgos - Executive Director, BTIA
"Two main purpose that we're going to be serving today at the annual general meeting. First of all we are going to highlight all the good work we have been doing over the last 12 months, to show members the benefit that we are trying to increase for them. You know as membership association you expect to receive certain benefits and we have been expanding the number of benefits over the last 2 to 3 years. In addition to that, the second main objective, we're going to have elections, we're going to have elections for two key positions on the committee. We'll be looking to receive a new president for the next 2 years and we're going to have a second vice president for the next 2 years. So those would be the 2 main things that are taking place today."
"You're also presenting a report on the performance of the last year. What stood out? What were the key achievements of the BTIA?"
"Well, the 2 main achievements that we're really very proud of is that we were able to serve our membership, we're providing a new series of training opportunities. We did a surf safe training for cooking staff, we did also a first aid and CPR training and we also provided a fire prevention and fire extinguisher training for members and also for the first time we did an innovation and tourism talk whereby we had special guests international representatives from Google, from More Tourismo whom is a digital marketing company - from Expedia and TripAdvisor. So these people were able to address some of the concerns and some of the issues of the industry and at the same time share the great opportunities that they offer on the platforms. Secondly we were able to publish the 20th edition of the Destination Belize and it's not only about having a printing magazine available but this year we were able to expand on the branding of Destination Belize. We're going to be offering 2 key things, one of them that the magazine for the first time is going to be available in Spanish and secondly we are going to have the Destination Belize.com website that is going to bring the magazine to life and in that website we are also going to be able to feature different videos for advisors and also from the various destinations. We have videos of the drum making in Hopkins, we have video of the Hudut making in Dangriga and videos of that sort - the Maya fireball game, the Pok-ta-tok game. So it's going to provide the platform whereby we're going to engage international potential tourists to have a one hub where they can find all the information they need about Belize."
As you heard, a key agenda item for today's AGM was the election of a president and a 2nd Vice President. After elections were held, Melanie Paz from San Pedro was selected as the new president, and Stewart Krohn was re-elected as the 2nd Vice-President.
B.T.I.A. Elects Melanie Paz as its New President
Tourism continues as a top contributor to economic growth. New commercial airlines are flying to Belize from major US cities and hoteliers and restaurant owners are experiencing a boom. The expansion of the sector was lauded today at the annual general meeting of the Belize Tourism Industry Association which also elected a new president and vice president. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
Third quarter tourist arrivals are up this year in both the overnight and cruise ship categories, contributing significantly to the country’s gross domestic product. In 2018, a total of one hundred and two thousand, six hundred visitors spent a night or two in Belize during the months of July, August and September. During that same period, roughly two hundred and forty thousand cruise ship passengers disembarked at the Fort Street Tourism Village and at Harvest Caye, boosting production within tertiary industries, including hotels and restaurants, by twenty-four million dollars. The travel business continues to lead the country’s economy and today its stakeholders came together to discuss the state of the tourism industry.
John Burgos, Executive Director, B.T.I.A.
“We always have a focus on three main things, one of them is training. We were able to expand the number of trainings that we offer to our members. We were able to offer a serve safe training for cooking staff. We had a training for first aid and CPR, we had training for fire prevention and fire extinguishing as well, and for the first time we did an innovation and tourism training which basically brought some international guest speakers to represent Google, Trip Advisor and Expedia and we have a representative from More Tourism which is a digital marketing company.”
John Burgos is the Executive Director of the Belize Tourism Industry Association. Today, he provides the membership of B.T.I.A. with a review of what has been accomplished by the organization over the past twelve months.
“Under marketing, we were very proud to be able to publish the twentieth edition of Destination Belize. We were also not only presenting the new edition but also we were able to expand the marketing platform that it offers. For the first time we’re going to have it available in Spanish which we’re going to be using to market and promote in Mexico and Central America and South America. We’re already speaking with Copa and Aero Mexico to see how they’re going to assist us with the distribution of the magazine.”
From an economic perspective, there is much to celebrate within the service sector. Those accomplishments were outlined recently by the Statistical Institute of Belize.
Angelita Campbell, Economic Statistics Department, SIB
“Within this sector we saw hotel and restaurants going up by seventeen point two percent or three point five million dollars, totaling twenty-four million dollars and this is reflected in overnight visitors going up by fifteen point three percent, cruise visitors going up by fifty-five point five percent and room revenue also going up by four point two percent.”
For the thirty-third annual general meeting, colleagues within the association also chose a new president to serve a two-year term to succeed Raineldo Guerrero who was elected in 2016.
“It serves two key objectives, one of them is that I present a yearly report as to the works of the tourism industry over the last twelve months, you know. We gotta share with our members some of the benefits that have been increasing for them this year and then we also share some of the upcoming materials for 2019. The second main objective is to, we’re going to have elections. We’re going to be electing a new president of the association for the next two years and we are also going to elect a new second vice president for the association.”
Melanie Paz is the new B.T.I.A. president. Meanwhile, Stewart Krohn has also been re-elected as Second Vice President. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.