The Tourism Recovery Plan that the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) officially introduced last month has received overall endorsement from the newly-installed President of the Belize Hotel Association (BHA).
In newspaper op-ed this week, Saldivar said that “It is reassuring to see a focus on assistance to small stakeholders. Foreign investment is absolutely welcomed and helps tremendously in creating a beautifully diversified portfolio for our destination, but I was pleased to see specific appreciation for the smaller stakeholders in the plan as well because those are the ones that deliver that unbelizeable character to the Belize experience that wows our visitors and encourages so many return guests,” BHA President Alina Saldivar shared, expressing the need for the financial incentive programs and affordable tourism loans to be put in place quickly in order to enable Belizeans to afford to invest in tourism.
The new BHA President is optimistic about the Plan’s pre-Covid goals for tourism arrivals, and expressed that the new plans that BTB has embarked on are much needed and would have been necessary even if the pandemic had not happened, in order to prepare for increased numbers of tourist arrivals.
Saldivar applauded the planned airport expansion and improvement proposals, and the focus on airlift development, but she feels that airlift development is pivotal. “When the flights are full and the hotels are full, so many other beneficiaries fall into place. The wheels start turning again.” she said. Saldivar feels that a reduced hotel tax for the Belizean traveler is a good idea but added that the BHA hopes that BTB keeps its commitment to sharing the weight in order to make it a mutually beneficial venture.