Over the past years tourist arrivals in Belize has seen an increase and all indications are that the trend will continue this year as tourists and local visitors to archaeological sites in Belize will soon benefit from new health and safety policies to be undertaken in Belize in an effort to implement the recently created Health and Safety Standards for archaeological sites.
The Health and Safety Policy Manual was officially handed over to the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History yesterday at the Institute of Archaeology’s office in Belmopan. The policy is now mandatory after being signed into law by the Minister of Trade and Industry, investment and Consumer Protection on May 27, 2014 and gazetted on May 31, 2014.
The policy manual was developed as part of the objectives of the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS) project, funded by the European Union and the Government of Belize and implemented by the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History.
The project intends to achieve three main sets of results at archaeological sites: improve the monitoring systems, improve health and safety provisions and infrastructure and enhance the diversification of community based tourism products and services offered.
The MTBCAAS Project targets communities adjacent to nine archaeological sites including Xunantunich Altun Ha, Lubaantun and Lamanai. The implementation of the newly created standards and policies will also ensure that future infrastructural and maintenance measurements, as well as the services being provided at archaeological sites are guided by the highest best practices.
The MTBCAAS Project was launched in March 2013 and is made possible with grant funding of BZ$2.75m from the European Union and the Government of Belize under the Belize Rural Development Programme II (BRDP) and BZ$1.25 contribution from the Belize Tourism Board and, the National Institute of Culture and History for a total estimated cost of BZ$4 million. It is being implemented over 24 month period and scheduled to be completed in November 2014.
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