Tourism Minister says Tour Guide license renewals to be free of cost for three months

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

free license renewalsOn Thursday, May 21st, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr. announced that via an upcoming Statutory Instrument (SI), all tour guides countrywide will be able to renew their license at no cost, from June through August 2020. This is a way to assist tour guides affected by the current COVID-19 crisis, and as soon as the SI is passed, renewals can start online through the Belize Tourism Board’s website, Any applicants renewing their license after this three-month period will have to go through the normal process and pay a fee.

free license renewalsAccording to Heredia, the SI should be ready by next week, and he has deemed it as urgent to help the tour guides. This proposal will then be given to the Attorney General Honourable Michael Peyrefitte and explained in a roundtable discussion. Once the SI becomes official, applicants will not need to produce police records, get recommendations and other routine requirements to renew their licenses. “All they have to do is go online, apply and they will be issued a renewal license as soon as possible,” said Heredia. Something similar is being planned for the tour operators if it is needed by the time the need to renew their licenses.

Heredia touched on the importance of re-starting the tourism economy and reminded the public that a tentative date to – at the very least – open the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport is July 1st. The minister also stressed that this depends on the COVID-19 situation around the region. If the international airport opens, it will be done in a responsible and timely manner that will be in the best interests of both tourists and Belizeans. He added that the government is working to acquire the necessary resources to undergo rapid testing on visitors. However, the country will not open its international entry points irresponsibly and potentially put Belizeans’ lives at risk.


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