Belize City, Monday, June 10th, 2001 --- On Friday, May 31st Belize's
long term entrepreneur and hotelier, Celi McCorkle joined the cadre of
Caribbean honorees recognized for their significant contribution made in
the development of the tourism industry in the region. To mark the event,
the Caribbean Tourism Organization, also known as CTO held its 29th Annual
Governments of the Caribbean State Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New
York City.

Ms. Celi McCorkle, a Belizean pioneer in the tourism industry, opened one
of the first hotels in San Pedro Town in the 1960s at a time when the
leading source of income for the country was agricultural products and wood
exportation. The Holiday Hotel opened for business with 5 bedrooms and one
bathroom. Ms. McCorkle's bold initiative immediately fostered greater
entrepreneuralism on the island, subsequently witnessed by the 63
registered hotels and many other tourism-related developments existing
today. Ms. McCorkle's ingenuity and friendliness helped to create an
entirely new and dynamic industry for San Pedro and Belize. The seeds of
growth were being planted as neighboring districts and the Cayes were also
gaining momentum and slowly taking shape.

"We are proud of Ms. McCorkle's continued devotion to tourism," comments
Tourism Minister Mark Espat. "She is a celebrated example that success in
this industry requires vision, hard work and devoutness. We congratulate
her on her success and encourage other Belizeans to take a stake in the
industry's development," Espat went on to say.

The Gala Evening event, which was also in celebration of CTO's 50th
anniversary, honored a total of fifty individuals. CTO's member countries
nominated a total of 33 honorees, and 17 other individuals were recognized
for their surpassing contribution and devotion in ensuring growth in the
Caribbean tourism industry.

Ms. Celi McCorkle continues to be actively involved in the tourism
industry. She served as an executive member of the San Pedro Village
Council, Chairperson of the San Pedro High School, President of the Belize
Tourism Industry Association and the Belize Hotel Association, Board member
of the Belize Tourism Board and Director of the Caribbean Hotel Association
in 1982. In 2000, Ms. McCorkle was the recipient of the first ever and
prestigious Tourism Minister's Award presented to individuals who have made
a lasting contribution to the development of Belize's tourism industry.