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Mark the date on your calendar for BTIA's 37th Annual General Meeting.

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2022-2023 Biannual Meeting

On Friday January 6th, 2023, the BHA held its Biannual Meeting. Among speakers, was the Director of Tourism, Mr. Evan Tillett, who was able to give a brief address on BTB's plan and some of the Country's tourism statistics.

The mid year review was presented and outlined what the BHA has done over the past six months. Upcoming travel trends were also shared with our members. Some of the upcoming trends that we're seeing that will be big for 2023 are sustainability, local experiences, family travel, the unplugged experience, among others.

We were also able to present our Corporate Sponsors, Atlantic Bank Ltd & Tropic Air with plaques. Mr. Rudy Gonzalez accepted the plaque on behalf of Atlantic Bank and Ms. Roanne Badillo on behalf of Tropic Air. We'd like to thank these sponsors for their unwavering support to the BHA. We look forward to continue working closely with you.

Also at the event, there was a soft launch of our guide for our members. This year's cover is an image of Half Moon Caye by Tom Hines. Our inside cover is also an image by Tom Hines and it is of the Southern Highway. Our back cover was sponsored by PACT. We'd like to thank everyone who contributed in any way towards this guide.

To close the event we had a toast to the new year sponsored by Madisco. We'd like to thank all our members that were able to join us and we look forward to all that's to come in the remaining six months!

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B.T.I.A. Holds Its 37th Annual General Meeting

The thirty-seventh annual general meeting of the Belize Tourism Industry Association was held at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel today. It was an event used to reflect on the accomplishments, as well as the shortfalls of 2022 and the plan for the year ahead. Industry stakeholders were present for the event and News Five's Duane Moody was there to capture the dialogue. Here's his report.

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Belize Tourism Industry Association has been able to grow its membership to over two hundred and forty and counting. These properties within the industry include, but are not limited to restaurants, mom-and-pop businesses or even luxury, boutique properties. And while coming out of two years of surviving the pandemic, there are concerns around building the resiliency of the industry.

Stewart Krohn, President, B.T.I.A.

"It's our first in-person AGM in more than two years, during COVID, so it is always really nice to get people physically in the same spot and really network a little bit. The concerns coming out of COVID have to do more with the rebound in tourism. The industry is back on its feet, but it doesn't mean the industry is not without its problems."

Those concerns were not falling on deaf ears, as those in attendance from the Ministry of Tourism and the Belize Tourism Board were engaged in the discussion - responding to the issues as they were being shared by the stakeholders.

Nicole Solano, C.E.O., Ministry of Tourism & Diaspora Relations

"It's important for us to come and to listen and to hear what the issues are. On a regular basis, we have communication with them so today is no different. Indeed, I think generally the tourism industry is very pleased. We've got quite a significant amount of positive feedback in terms of how well things are going with business. We need to look at what are the gaps for 2023. We do have a slow season still, so we are looking September/October, what can do to make sure that we have higher traffic in those months and next high season and beyond."

Among the many issues discussed were accessing agricultural produce, the poaching of human resources from the industry, to BPOs and the need for better access to properties.

Nicole Solano

"Tourism is impacted by so many areas within government and so many other ministries within government so it is very important for us at the C.E.O. level to be able to communicate and interact on all of these matters. So the minister has established a tourism advisory council that includes the C.E.O.s from the ministries that are most relevant. All ministries are relevant - but some are more relevant and have a more immediate impact that others - agriculture is one of them. Infrastructure development with roads and the blue economy and civil aviation - all of these have direct impact on the tourism industry so we do work closely with them so that when there are issues, we can iron them out and have them resolved easily and quickly and also planning for the future, so that we can avoid issues before they occur."

During today's AGM, Stewart Krohn was re-elected as President of the B.T.I.A. for another term. So what's the plan for the industry?

Stewart Krohn

"The plan is to make a plan. I think something that is characterised tourism is that the industry has grown kinda in spite of itself. Belize has always been very lucky in many ways, but you don’t know when your luck is gonna run out. So one of the things that I emphasized in my address is that we really need to find out what we want. We need to plan and we need to figure out what we want otherwise we are going to get stuck with what we don’t want."

Channel 5

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Public And Private Sectors Agree That Tourism Industry Has Rebounded but Challenges Remain For 2023

BELIZE CITY, Belize, Wednesday, January 11, 2023 - Speaking at the 37th Annual General Meeting of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, which was held yesterday at the Best Western Plus Biltmore Plaza, President Stewart Krohn congratulated members for their remarkable comeback from the Covid-19 pandemic and pointed to five areas that BTIA needed to focus on in the coming year. "Tourism constitutes 40 percent of the nation's GDP", said Krohn in his address "but the challenge is to deepen the integration of the industry with the rest of the Belizean economy in order to raise the standard of living for all Belizeans". He also pointed to the need for more emphasis on training the work force, promoting off-season travel to Belize, meeting the threat of climate change and the necessity of charting a better-defined course for future development.

In her keynote address, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Nicole Solano echoed those sentiments, reporting that visitor arrival numbers are on their way to reaching 2019 levels while tourism revenues have surpassed 2019 figures. She cited the strong relationship between her ministry, the Belize Tourism Board and the private sector for much of the success. "We have established a partnership that is showing results and will continue to bear fruit", she noted and pointed to efforts underway to establish a tourism training institute that will meet the actual needs of the industry.

A key objective of the 37th Annual General Meeting was to elect the Executive Committee members for the period 2023/2024. Elections were held for the posts of President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President and Secretary. By acclamation, Stewart Krohn will continue to serve as President and Tamara Sniffin will continue as 1st Vice-President. Oscar Gutierrez was elected as 2nd Vice President and Nicholas Scavone was elected as Secretary.

President: Stewart Krohn
1st Vice-President: Tamara Sniffin
2nd Vice-President: Oscar Gutierrez
Treasurer: Raineldo Guerrero
Secretary: Nicholas Scavone
Past President: Melanie Paz

The Minutes of the 2022 AGM were adopted along with the audited financial report for the Fiscal Year ending July 2022.

The BTIA expresses gratitude to past Executive Committee members. Osmany Salas and Tanya Silva for their invaluable contribution to the BTIA. We thank our members for their unwavering support as we continue to represent the best interests of the tourism industry. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the government and other key stakeholders in the growth and development of our tourism industry.

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