Master of ceremonies for the evening was Alex King. Speakers for the evening were Janice Aguilar, organizer of BETEX 97, Johnny Searle of TACA Airlines, co-sponsor of BETEX, Hon. Henry Young, Minister of Tourism and the Environment, the main speaker of the evening, Susan Fuller, President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), and the Right Hon. Manuel Esquivel, Prime Minister of Belize, who officially opened BETEX 97.
On Thursday, July 17th, at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Best Western Hotel, in Belize City, ribbon cutting ceremonies for BETEX 97 were carried out.
Janice Aguilar, organizer of BETEX 97, acted as Mistress of Ceremonies. Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize, spoke briefly about the importance of tourism in Belize and the rich benefits of responsible eco-tourism. Hon. Henry Young, Minister of Tourism and the Environment; His Worship Jose Coye, Mayor of Belize City and Susan Fuller, president of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) accompanied the Governor General as he officially cut the ribbon.
On Friday, July 18th, a fam trip was organized for local and foreign press to Lamanai courtesy of Discovery Expeditions. Tour Guide Mario Gonzalez was in charge of the entire tour. Gonzalez drove the Discovery van to Orange Walk Town where Gonzalez conducted a tour of the New River tour and the Lamanai Mayan Ruins. Lunch was provided by Discovery Expeditions. Afternoon cocktails were provided by the Lamanai Outpost Lodge situated half a mile from the ruins of Lamanai. Mark and Monique Howells, managers of Lamanai Outpost Lodge, conducted a tour of the lodge and its archaeology and environmental research centers. Friday evening closing ceremonies were held at the Fiesta Inn and a farewell dance followed at the Calypso night club.
On Saturday, July 19th, another fam trip was organized for local and foreign press to visit Cayo courtesy of Cayo Adventure Tours, Chichem Hah Lodge, San Ignacio Hotel and Windy Hill Tours. Hernan Velasquez acted as tour guide for the trip to Chichem Hah Lodge where the Pleitez family, owners of Chichem Hah Lodge, provided lunch and refreshments. William and Gonzalo Pleitez along with Velasquez conducted the tour to the Chichem Hah Cave. Afternoon cocktails were provided by San Ignacio Hotel along with a tour of their Iguana Breeding Program. Godwyn Buckley of Windy Hills Tours, provided transportation back to Belize City.