The initiative came on stream two weeks ago, but many tour operators have not applied for the assistance. Hence, the B.T.B. has put out the notification to encourage those with legitimate tour operations to apply. These are businesses that are required by law to have majority shareholders who are Belizeans. But, while tour operators are urged to take advantage of the initiative, Castaneda explained why tour guides do not qualify.

Abil Castaneda, Director of Cruise, Quality Management and Capacity Development, B.T.B.

"The way the industry works and is structured, a licensed tour guide must work through a tour operator, whether it be as a permanent tour guide or you are a freelance tour guide or you're an independent tour guide that comes in temporarily, depending on how the work looks. So in reality, the tour operators are the ones that have the business. A tour guide is not a business, it's a person that is able to take a group of people to a site and give them the story and experience behind that, but they do not sell or they should not sell. They should not advertise. The tour operator does that; they do the selling, the advertising, the arrangements and at the end of the day, they are the ones that are also liable in case anything happens."

Channel 5