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Tourism Industry Gets Ready For The Return #543704
07/25/20 04:59 AM
07/25/20 04:59 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,224
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP
While border jumpers are driving up the COVID numbers, many are also looking with great anxiety to August 15th, that's when the airport opens to tourists and returning Belizeans from the COVID infested US of A.

This morning in preparation for that return, the Belize Tourism Industry Association hosted a forum aimed at providing hoteliers with some of the answers on how to take the first tentative steps forward in restarting Belize's most vital industry. I visited and found out more:



Again, the Philip Goldson International airport reopens on August 15th. Tourists entering the country will be required to bring a PCR test and to remain on the property of their resort for the duration of their stay.

Channel 7

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B.T.I.A. Preparing for Reopening of Tourism Industry

The reopening of the P.G.I.A. is a matter of much public interest. Executive Director for the Belize Tourism Industry and Association John Burgos says that the majority of members support the resumption of commercial flights to Belize. But Burgos says that the decision is in the hands of the government. The Association is also of the view that the P.G.I.A. cannot remain closed for an extended period.

John Burgos, Executive Director, B.T.I.A.
“We are still leaving the decision to the government and the National Oversight Committee looking at the numbers and remember this situation is very fluid. What we are seeing now with the spikes in Mexico and the spikes in the US we were not seeing in June. We thought that by now things would have been different, tings would have been better. Unfortunately it is not. So I think the government needs to look at it. You have to look at it two ways. You can’t keep the borders close forever whether it is the PGIA, our land borders. We cannot keep it close forever so I think this August opening will provide the opportunity for us to have a small number of people coming into the country and that is going to provide us with the experience to know if we are going to be able to manage this crowd. Right now I believe the figure given was a little over nine hundred persons coming in flights in August, after August fifteen which is a manageable number. I think opening now gives us the opportunity to test out all the protocols in place and see how it goes.”

Hipolito Novelo
“That nine hundred figure however are flights mostly coming from the states?”

John Burgos
“Yes. You know seventy five percent of our market comes from the US and that is not going to change any time soon and most of the persons coming back are from the US. We can’t run from the fact that the US is the epicentre of the coronavirus virus at this moment and that being our primary market it is certainly raises huge red flags and I think the government needs to take in all precautions and considerations on that. One of the key things right now is that our travellers need to be very well informed of what the laws are going to say and what protocols are going be in place. The moment you come into Belize you are going to be liable and responsible to follow those.”

Belize Tourism Industry and Association Charts the Way Forward

The Belize Tourism Industry and Association today hosted a forum under the theme, “Belize Tourism Industry: Charting a Way Forward.” The event brought stakeholders together to prepare for the recovery of the tourism industry. Executive Director for B.T.I.A., John Burgos says that the forum is an efficient way to discuss various topics that are important to the public and private sector in anticipation of the arrival of international guests. Burgos explains that it is critical for stakeholders to unite and join forces to maximize resources. At the end of the event, the B.T.I.A. will present a report with recommendations and plans to the Prime Minister and the National Oversight Committee.

John Burgos, Executive Director, B.T.I.A.
“The key concern as started in the first panel is that to ensure that everybody is on the same page, that we are moving together side by side. We don’t want people to move in different directions at different paces. We have to ensure that all the protocols that are being place at the airport, by the immigration office, by the customs offices, by the airport management authority and then thereafter into whoever tourism stakeholder the passengers are going to.”

Hipolito Novelo
“Are any of the members of the B.T.I.A. struggling to fully prepared come August fifteenth.”

John Burgos
“Well that is the reason we opted to advocate with the Development Finance Corporation and the Minister of Finance the Honorable Prime Minister to begin to seek financing with IFIs and see what kind of finances opportunities under special conditions too because it cannot be the traditional way. We are asking for low interest rates and we are asking for better terms and conditions for these loans and try to work it out for a five to seven year period because that is how much times you are going to require for you to begin to receive the level of revenues that you were experiencing up to February of this year.”

Natalie Goff, Development Finance Corporation
“We are trying to help them with working capital financing. Normally working capital financing comes from the internal revenue but that is not coming in and so what DFC has looked at from a management level is to see how we can and if we do provide that financing it will be a short time. So we are looking extend that term a bit maybe three to five years to give them chance to recover and to get it as low as possible interest rate.”

Stewart Krohn, Managing Director, Naia Resort and Spa
“Given the protocols, give the fact that at least in this face of protocols your tourist are in fact prisoners at a resort and I understand why those protocols are there but it is a challenge to the resort management to provide the overwhelming great experience that we are used to providing with our visitors and still stay within the protocols. If my guests are not allowed to leave the premises how are they going to really enjoy the Belize experience?”


Channel 5

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Video of today's BTIA Tourism Forum: Charting the way forward


Re: Tourism Industry Gets Ready For The Return [Re: Marty] #543720
07/25/20 07:59 AM
07/25/20 07:59 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,457
San Pedro, Belize
Judyann H. Offline
.
Judyann H.  Offline
Stewart Krohn, Managing Director, Naia Resort and Spa
“Given the protocols, give the fact that at least in this face of protocols your tourist are in fact prisoners at a resort and I understand why those protocols are there but it is a challenge to the resort management to provide the overwhelming great experience that we are used to providing with our visitors and still stay within the protocols. If my guests are not allowed to leave the premises how are they going to really enjoy the Belize experience?”

Agree 100%...


My friends call me Judyann

www.blackorchidrestaurant.com
Re: Tourism Industry Gets Ready For The Return [Re: Marty] #543725
07/25/20 02:37 PM
07/25/20 02:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 107
Ambregris Caye
A
AC Lover Offline
.
AC Lover  Offline
A
And what about the 300 rental homes on AC, and the additional 1,000 more in Belize?
So far the BTB has completely ignored us!
Time to move forward...........please.

Re: Tourism Industry Gets Ready For The Return [Re: Marty] #543738
07/26/20 08:31 AM
07/26/20 08:31 AM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,913
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye...
Amanda Syme Offline

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Amanda Syme  Offline
The government is taking all precautions as we gradually reopen. Before going all out we are taking baby steps in a controlled and monitored fashion. There is a lot more at stake than the economy. The overall health and safety of our populace is also weighing in heavily on the phasing of reopening. Please exercise some patience as we do what our experts have advised in order to attempt to balance bolstering our economy while not overwhelming our health system.


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