At the top of the newscast we told you about the 2015 Tourism Industry Conference held by BTB in San Pedro Town. A number of issues pertaining to the tourism industry were discussed during the event including the influx of tourists flying in. During an interview with Director of Tourism at the BTB, Karen Bevans, she expanded on the current situation facing the industry in that sector.


karenKaren Bevans – Director of Tourism


“We have to study the market and we recognize that maybe certain areas, the seats are not filling that area but if you look at it Southwest is moving into the Houston area because we have to look at the travelling patterns and recognize the hubs which the travelers are using so yes one area might not work out for example Miami maybe going down but we opening out in Houston opening in LA and again we have been asked to look at in Canada which we are in serious discussions trying to get a direct flight from Canada further to that we recognize barrier with US visas and hence the reason COPA is a big announcement for us because travelers coming from the Caribbean who may not have a US visa coming out from Europe and South America with no US visa but they want to come to Belize so opening the Panama route via COPA will now give that opportunity which was not there before.”


And if the numbers were bigger, an argument from the media was that there are not enough rooms for these visitors wishing to stay in Belize. Bevans disagreed.


Karen Bevans – Director of Tourism


“We have enough rooms and we do know that are certain properties that need to enhance in quality and standard and hence another reason again another strategy to help with that is that we are implementing minimum standards for accommodations and properties to help with that to ensure that stakeholders that need some kind of assistance or some kind of strategies and help to uplift their standard we help to bring them up to that standard so the rooms can be available so that we can go hand in hand with the increase airlifts, the increase room stock and we satisfy the demands.”

 

We will have more on the tourism industry in Belize as it charts its way forward in our subsequent newscast.

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