To help those Tour Operators badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced on Thursday, November 5th that license fees for all currently licensed tour operators will be waived. In San Pedro Town, the local Tour Operators Association welcomed the good news and stated that this is the result of their lobbying with the Ministry of Tourism and BTB. They now look forward to getting an extension from the Belize Port Authority (BPA) to renew boat licenses in early 2021.

Chairman of the San Pedro Tour Operators Association (SPTOA) Roberto Canul stated that they advocated for tour guides as well. According to Canul, they lobbied for the waiving of license fees for licensed tour guides back in July of this year. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr., confirmed back then that all tour guides countrywide were going to be able to renew their licenses at no cost.

Afterward, Canul said his association then focused on getting the fees exempted for tour operators. Following further discussions and understanding the current situation that sees tourism stakeholders with little to no business, the annual license fee was waived. In a press release, the BTB said to remain committed to working with stakeholders during this difficult time. This assistance applies to applications submitted before December 31, 2020.

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