Our Community - Eddie Halliday Jr. - "Continuing the 'tourism tradition' in San Pedro

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 30            August 2, 2001

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Eddie Halliday Jr.

To keep our island as the number one tourist destination in our country, the involvement of community members and proper management of tourism is essential. Over the years, several established business people have mainly been responsible for the success of the industry. This week the San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce one of the younger generation who is playing a big role in the tourism industry of San Pedro - Eddie James Halliday Jr.

    Born to Diana and Eddie Halliday Sr. on December 4th, 1974, Eddie James is the oldest of three children. Eddie displayed leadership skills even as a young child, whether it was playing with his brother and sister, or organizing his schoolmates. He attended San Pedro Roman Catholic School and then San Pedro High School, graduating with honors from the academic class in 1991. He then moved to Belize City where he received an Associate's Degree in Economics from St. John's College Junior College.

    Confident with his knowledge, Eddie's next step was to purse a career in the tourism industry. In 1994, he was hired as a front desk agent at the Belize Yacht Club. His ambition and willingness to learn soon gained Eddie promotions to office manager, reservation's manager and then General Manager. For five years this young man gave of himself, looking after the growth of the resort. Throughout this time, Eddie developed a keen interest in computers and accepted the challenge of exploring and becoming educated in this new technology to San Pedro. Seeing the rapid growth the island was experiencing, Eddie saw great business potential in computers and started his own enterprise - Computer Atoll. Through this venture, Eddie offered various computer systems to hotels, training, sales of personal computers and parts. The community welcomed his business but due to financial restraints Eddie was unable to expand Computer Atoll.

    On September 12th, 1998 Eddie married Karla Gonzalez de la Torre of Mexico City. Their union has produced a lovely baby girl, Naomi Kirey Halliday. Then, in 1999, Eddie was offered the position of General Manager by Caribe Island Resort. Mr. Halliday accepted this job but opted to continue Computer Atoll on a part-time basis. Since that time, Eddie has been instrumental in the daily operations of the resort, overseeing all aspects of the business, whether dealing directly with the guests and the wholesalers or working the front desk. Through Caribe Island Resort, Eddie spearheaded a charity volleyball tournament which benefited the San Pedro Roman Catholic School. He is also currently working with Dr. Jeffrey Sersland to acquire an ambulance for the San Pedro Lions Clinic.

    Always looking for ways to better the tourism industry, Eddie has been an active member of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) as a director for the San Pedro Branch. Just recently, he accepted the position of vice president for the local BTIA chapter and as a director for the Belize Hotel Association. This young professional told the San Pedro Sun that he hopes to make a difference in the tourism industry by concentrating on all aspects of tourism. Through his involvement in the BTIA he hopes to spark the interest of hoteliers and other business persons to revive the local chapter of this organization. Eddie explained that the BTIA serves to promote the interest of its members while developing the Belize tourism product.

    Eddie's goals are make Caribe Island Resort a successful resort and at some point in time open his own business again. "Tourism is the number one industry in the country. The government has been giving this industry a lot of attention and I foresee it to be booming in the near future. I feel fortunate that I have been able to play a part in this and add to the growth and success of this industry," commented Mr. Halliday. Speaking about the younger generation being involved in tourism he had the following to say: "I believe that there is a future in this business. The younger generation should try to get as much education and training as possible so that they can be qualified to obtain a managerial position. There are a lot of intelligent people in Belize, but it is sad to see that they settle for smaller jobs instead of managerial positions. We need more first-class education in tourism to be able to prepare the youth for this industry."

    Whenever possible Eddie enjoys being a tourist in his own country. He has recently acquired a small boat that he uses to go fishing and diving. He also enjoys the parts of nature's beauty that are unique to this country, especially the Mountain Pine Ridge area in the Cayo District.

    Eddie Halliday Jr. is true testimony that age makes no difference when it comes to the proper management and promotion of a business. An exemplary individual, Mr. Halliday is by all means one of tourism's many "ambassadors" who display a fine example of the professionalism in our "Our Community."

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