BTB offers stakeholders the opportunity to become tour operators
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is offering tour guides, tour guide associations, micro and small-medium enterprises the opportunity to become a tour operator. The program will provide first-time tour operators applicants a grant of up to $1,000 to cover expenses of the public liability insurance, a document needed to become a tour operator.
The BTB issued an official note on Monday, February 21st, stating that the grant is a one-time financial opportunity. This program is to support the recovery and stabilization of the tourism industry. As a result, BTB has established an annual facility assisting first-time applicants, to cover the cost of the mandated tour operator public liability insurance partially or fully for the first year of operations. The BTB said the mandatory public liability insurance has been a barrier for many parties entering the tour operator sector. They hope that this initiative assists those desirous of making their goal come true, benefiting themselves and the tourism industry.
The President of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association, Philip ‘Billy’ Leslie, said he had shared this info with some of his fellow tour guides. The move is welcome, and it is believed that it is also being done to legitimatize those operating as tour operators without proper documentation. This is expected to deter individuals and small companies from acting as tour operators when they are not and take advantage of this opportunity to become an accredited business offering tours.
First-time tour operator applicants are required to meet the below requirements:
Classify as either a Micro- or Small- Enterprise (Less than 20 employees, excluding the tour guides) OR
A Tour Guide wishing to transition to a Tour Operator OR
A Tour Guide Association wishes to transition into a Tour Operator.
In addition, to find out more about the program and, in particular, the financial assistance, visit https://belizetourismboard.org/programs-events/tour-operator-insurance-support-program/. This page will also provide guidance to the application forms.
The BTB believes that tour operators are of strategic importance in the recovery process, which plays a vital role in driving supply and demand. Tour operators are also considered great motivators in the tourism economies. These enterprises diversify and expand the tourism product offering new tour packages and new experiences.
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