BTIA HOSTS 36TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) held its 36th Annual General Meeting via Zoom on Thursday, January 20, 2022. In attendance were Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations; Director of Tourism, Mr. Evan Tillett; the Board and members of BTIA; other tourism stakeholders; and invited guests.
BTIA’s President, Stewart Krohn, took the opportunity to remind members that while the BTIA faced many challenges during the past year, the work of the Association will not only continue but expand, “Our goals include the convening of a Re-imagining Belizean Tourism Summit; a return to training with the objective of establishing a unified industry-relevant hospitality training institute; a stronger presence in all our varied destinations, including more support for BTIA operated tourism information centers. And finally, we will devote significant resources to raising the public profile of BTIA and more importantly, the status of the tourism industry in general.”
Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Hon. Anthony Mahler, was the Keynote Speaker. In his address, Minister Mahler stated, “Belize had a stand-out year of performance last year, and was one of the leaders in the recovery surge in this part of the world. Interestingly, in 2021 Belize recovered approximately 54% of its tourism overnight arrivals, that is, we saw an expansion of 20% more than the global average. Similarly, in Cruise, since July 2021, we saw a return of approximately 47% of our pre-pandemic performance compared to the same time period of operations in 2019. What this equates to is the result of the relentless and strategic work done jointly over the last 15 months by our government, and by you our partners in the private sector.”
A key objective of the 36th Annual General Meeting was to elect the Executive Committee members for the period 2022/2023. Elections were held for the posts of 2nd Vice President and Treasurer. By acclamation, Senator Osmany Salas will continue to serve as 2nd Vice- President and Raineldo Guerrero will continue as Treasurer. The BTIA Executive Committee for 2022 is composed as follows:
President– Stewart Krohn
1st Vice-President – Tamara Sniffin
2nd Vice-President – Osmany Salas
Treasurer – Raineldo Guerrero
Secretary – Tanya Silva
Past President – Melanie Paz
The Minutes of the 2020 AGM were adopted along with the audited financial report for the Fiscal Year 2020/2021.
The BTIA expresses gratitude to its members for their unwavering support as we continue to represent the tourism industry’s best interest. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the government and other key stakeholders in the recovery of our tourism industry.
The BTIA’s Board of Directors extends a warm welcome to Mrs. Linette Canto, our new Executive Director and looks forward to a positive and productive relationship as we move forward.
Linette comes with a wealth of experience in Communications, Public Relations and Marketing. She has strong leadership capabilities, with over 15 years of managerial experience, and is looking forward to continuing to build on the BTIA’s legacy of innovation, resilience and progress.
“I am very excited to take on the role of Executive Director of BTIA. These are challenging times for Belize’s tourism industry; but with these challenges comes the opportunity for innovative and creative solutions as we work to rebuild and move the industry forward. I look forward to working with the President and Board of Directors as we continue with our mission to promote, advocate and represent the interest of our members.”
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
We are pleased to share with you two articles featuring Belize that were published recently, giving us significant exposure:
TRAVEL TRENDS - TOURIST TRENDS 2022
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the situation for tourism remains rather unusual as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 was the year in which international tourism came to a near-complete standstill, and the only alternatives were domestic and local tourism. 2021 saw some improvements, but only in a very subtle way as restrictions were still in place and many countries kept their borders fully or partially closed. It is difficult to make an estimate for 2022 as it is not known how the pandemic will evolve.
However, UNWTO lists these the tourism trends that are likely to emerge over the coming year:
- International travel with restrictions still maintained by both destinations and airlines in order to offer 100% security to the consumer.
- Reinforcement of COVID-19 testing; two years after the pandemic, COVID testing will still be in place as a preventive measure.
- Conscious travel will be advocated. Travel to more distant destinations, but with prolonged durations of stay, as consumers look to enjoy as much of each place they visit as possible.
- Green travel. Climate change is a problem that is present and growing. Consumers now are much more responsible and aware of the reality they live in on daily basis.
- A new trend is the “ed-ventures”. It is about combining education and holidays for the youngest members of the family. While adults may need to telework or attend meetings, their children can be doing workshops and learning in a playful way.
We are sure that Belize is on the bucket list for many travelers and we look forward to welcoming them.
The BTIA is working diligently to make 2022 the best year ever for Belizean tourism. If you are a current BTIA member we ask for your continued support. If you are a past member whose pandemic-ravaged budget did not allow you to rejoin last year, please give it some thought and help us fuel the industry’s rebound and transformation. Kindly respond to the email that was sent out by our secretariat, or contact us via phone at 227-1144 or email at [email protected] for more information.
As we look forward to a new and exciting year filled with growth and development, we extend a heartfelt thank you to our Diamond Sponsors for their continued support.