BELIZE TOURISM INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION HOLDS SUCCESSFUL 28TH BI-ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Press Release- July 5, 2013. The Belize Tourism Industry Association held a very successful 28th Bi-Annual General Meeting on July 3rd, 2013 at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza.   The event’s main objective was to update the membership on the Association’s accomplishments for the past six months of the year. It offered an opportunity for members to dialogue on current issues, challenges and to voice their concerns.

In attendance at the event were BTIA Board Members including various Destination Chairs, Sector Representatives and invited guests from both the private and public sectors, including the Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr, Minister of Tourism and Culture.

Speakers included BTIA President, Mr. Herbert Haylock; BTIA Secretary, Mr. Rob Hirons; BTIA Executive Director, Ms. Estela Requena and a special presentation on upcoming BETEX 2014, by Mrs. Denise Ockey.  The vote of thanks was delivered by Mrs. Jazmin Zetina-Banos, the Tourism Information Center Officer from Orange Walk.   Courts Belize Ltd and the Development Finance Corporation also presented checks to BTIA as Corporate Gold sponsors of the organization.

Mr. Herbert Haylock, BTIA President, noted in his address to the membership on the changes at the Secretariat, I must underscore to our members that these changes were executed with you in mind and always with you at the fore of where we’re headed as an Association.  Our direction forward, is and will continue to be focused on the ‘Opportunities for  the Majority!’

Mr. Haylock further noted to the membership and gathering, ‘Let us collectively put our experiences and talents together, both private and public sector – one room to deliberate and articulate comprehensive proposals – one fully inclusive voice to position and market Belize.  Let us not be drawn into the system’s status quo that continues to promote for only a minority…the private sector is willing to come to the table to work with you to have us cooperatively develop tourism investment packages that can be aggressively sold to potential investors.’ 

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Seminars under the theme “Opportunities for the Majority” were held in the afternoon.  One of the Association’s key objectives is to provide members with information on the industry and on opportunities that may benefit members and their properties/businesses.

The first seminar was facilitated by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) on the Hotel Standardization and Classification process. BTB gave an update on the current status of this process and members had the opportunity to ask questions in relation to this process and it impact on the wider industry.

The second seminar was facilitated by Total Business Solutions. They shared the importance of marketing using GIS information technology in order to expand the target audience.  Members were able to learn about the technologies available and how to use geographic information systems to help define marketing plans.

And the third seminar was presented by the Development Finance Corporation (DFC).  DFC gave an overview of the new and restructured organization and how the Tourism sector can benefit from financing offered by the DFC.  Some of the opportunities that the tourism sector can take advantage of include financing for new businesses; upgrading of existing facilities, purchase of new equipment; refinancing; and training.

BTIA would like express a heartfelt thank-you to all the sponsors of the event, Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza, Idea Labs Studios, BTL and SMART.  And all those who attend the event making it one of BTIA’s most successful Bi-Annual’s to date.