Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations (MTDR), Hon. Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development & Housing (MIDH), and Hon. Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Public Utilities & Logistics met in Hopkins Village with key tourism stakeholders to discuss details of the paving. This project was listed as the number one priority to support tourism development in the area. This kind of public-private sector partnership is an example of how working together and collaborating can achieve much needed results, quickly and efficiently.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed today between MIDH, MTDR, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), and private tourism businesses who have agreed to cover the cost of paving 1.2 miles of the Hopkins Road, estimated at $850K.
The area to be paved is the portion from GariMaya Gift Shop (where the existing pavement ends) to Beaches and Dreams Hotel. This project will uplift the tourism infrastructure for the benefit of the Hopkins hotels and resorts in the area, as well as the residents of Hopkins, Sittee River and surrounding communities.
This decision is also critical for improving the visitor experience in one of Belize's most important tourism destinations. The Hopkins Village Chairman, Mr. Orlando Augustine, was present for the discussions, along with CEOs Nicole Solano of the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, and CEO Victor Espat of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing. BTB Chairman, Mr. Evan Tillett, and Marketing Advisor, Ms. Michelle Bowers were also in attendance, along with the Chief Engineer and Zone Engineer from the MIDH. Members of the Hopkins Village Council and various tourism stakeholders were all a part of the discussion for this important project.
The need for a road upgrade was a matter raised by the private sector during the destination visit to Hopkins three weeks ago when Minister Mahler, Minister Ferguson, and their teams met with the private sector. This matter was listed as the number one priority to support tourism development in the area. This kind of public-private sector partnership is an example of how working together and collaborating can achieve much-needed results, quickly and efficiently.