The San Pedro Tour Operators Association (SPTOA) held its general meeting on Tuesday, February 11th inside the Hol Chan Marine Reserve conference room to address the issue of tour operator oversaturation on the island. The discussion included recommendations on how the organization can work hand in hand with the local authorities when granting trade licenses to new tour operators and what can be the best mechanism to mitigate the saturation that is beginning to affect stakeholders.

Vice-Chairman Roberto Canul brought up the issue of over-saturation. Its an issue of concern that has been raised by several of our members, and we need to look at it closely, said Canul. He made it clear that they are not against development and anyone becoming a tour operator; however, it needs to be done via the right procedures. The association discussed the idea of making it mandatory that their input in the vetting of tour operators trade licenses be taken into consideration by The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). Canul explained that if they have a say in who is getting trade licenses to open a tour shop, they need to follow the proper procedures and have the necessary safety and professional requirements in place to operate. Another option mentioned was for the SPTC to stop issuing tour operator trade licenses for at least a year and work on improving the current situation.

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