The Belize Tourism Board is re-strategizing the way forward for the industry. Changes include rerouting funding to bolster domestic Belizean tourism and improving basic infrastructure at major and emerging tourist destinations across the country.

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations

“Product development is also an issue. For example, we were in Hopkins the other day and we had discussions with the private sector down there and so immediately I got on the phone with the Ministry of Works who said that they are willing to partner with us and the private sector and hopefully within the next month or so, we can pave the last mile or two of that main Hopkins road just to start. But there are certain things that we are looking at as well. Some infrastructure in Caye Caulker, San Pedro, Hopkins, Placencia. All those areas we are looking at in terms of infrastructure.”

Continuous Training for Tourism Stakeholders

Continuous training for tourism stakeholders is also part of the strategic plan for the tourism industry. Tourism Minister Anthony Mahler explains its importance.

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations

“In the past when I was at the Board, people use to say in the high season, they are too busy to mess with training and in the slow season they are too broke to participate in training. So we want to roll out training within the next month or so in all sectors of the industry and it is going to be free. The Board is going to incur that cost, but we are going to partner with B.T.I.A. and B.H.A. for us to roll out some significant training programmes.”

Fostering Longer Stays by International Visitors

The Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations is also looking at the competitiveness of Belize as a long stay destination within the region. Whether international visitors are coming to Belize by sea, land or air, Minister Mahler wants them to consider staying a bit longer in the Jewel, perhaps even make Belize their work-from-home second home.

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations

“All destinations throughout the world will want to get their share of the market so we have to be ready and so we are looking at our competitiveness as a destination as we move forward. We are looking at two programmes, a long stay programme and the qualified retirement programme whereby we are adjusting those legislations to invite people to come and work here, digital nomads, and retired persons, who want to come to Belize to retire. We are adjusting those legislations to make it easier for them to invest and come live in Belize.”

Channel 5