The November 23rd meeting resulted in the resignation of President J. Murray Arnold. Some of the media in Belize printed or aired some unusual versions of the event. These one-sided, highly interpretive versions are addressed by the BTIA press release that follows. The BTIA press release does not specify which media houses they are discussing, issuing a banket statement that lumps all media together. This is not the case and is further explained by the observations of BTIA member Marguerite Bevis. Her comments follow the BTIA press release.
In support of the Industry, Minister Young continues his lobbying efforts for more items to be zero rated from Value Added Tax including considerations of BTIA's request for VAT and import duty exemption on advertising and promotional materials for the tourism industry.
Minister Young and Belize Tourist Board Director, Kevin Gonzales informed that funding has been secured for the drafting of a new tourism development plan. Canadian and Belizean counterparts will work jointly to dialogue with all the stakeholders in the industry to develop a comprehensive tourism plan for Belize. Following the tour operators legislation signed into law yesterday, the BTB is finalizing amendments to the Hotel act which for the first time addresses minimum standards for this sector of the industry. Minister Young and the BTIA have agreed to a further meeting to look in-depth at the Belize Tourism Expo-BETEX '97 and the management of the Marine Terminal and Museum in Belize City.
Public and private sector tourism officials were unanimous in their concern at the negative impact caused by the reckless statements and misinformation about the tourism industry appearing in the media and the press recently. Both BTIA and the Ministry reiterate the Government of Belize's intolerance of racism in all its forms, and support the country's foreign investment policy which welcomes responsible tourism development. Minister Young was informed that BTIA Board of Directors supports its members who were unfairly and maliciously singled out by the media.
The Belize Tourism Industry Association, a voluntary membership private sector association founded on democratic and ethical principle, welcomes all persons involved in tourism to join the association and assist in lobbying for tangible benefits for the industry.
BTIA takes this opportunity to invite all members, prospective members and the public to its semi-annual General Meeting December 11, 1996 at 10 a.m. at the Chateau Caribbean in Belize City.
End of Press Release