Thursday, May 30, 2024

BTB San Pedro’s satellite office re-opens


After being closed for over three years, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) office branch in San Pedro Town re-opened on Monday, October 30th, during an official ceremony at the Sunset Boardwalk. The anticipated BTB satellite office on the island is now located at the international water taxi terminal at the Sunset Boardwalk. It will be essential for tour operators, tour guides, and other tourism stakeholders, who will now be assisted with their tourism queries and processes on the island without the need to travel to the mainland.
The short ceremony was attended by the Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, the Honourable Anthony Mahler, Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez, Mayor Gualberto ‘Wally’ Nuñez, Deputy Mayor Marina Kay, BTB representatives and the island’s tourism stakeholders.
The event’s formalities saw Area Representative, the Honourable Perez, discussing the importance of re-opening BTB’s San Pedro branch. “San Pedro, as the mecca for tourism in Belize, needed this office that will greatly benefit our stakeholders and visitors as well,” he highlighted. Perez touched on the tremendous potential the San Pedro and Caye Caulker areas continued to expose and encouraged the island communities to continue working together to enhance the tourism product. Perez also thanked the Ministry of Tourism for their collaboration and working hand in hand with the island tourism sector as they planned to re-open the office.
Tourism Minister Mahler wished the office had opened earlier but was happy it finally happened. Mahler said his ministry plans to open other satellite offices nationwide. Mahler noted that the San Pedro region is significant to the Belizean tourism product. Therefore, he said the island community will benefit from future projects in his ministry and the BTB.
BTB’s Director of Tourism Evan Tillett closed the ceremony with a thank you address acknowledging governmental agencies and the private sector on the accomplishment. After that, Area Representative Perez and Mahler were joined by Deputy Mayor Kay, Tillet, and members of the BTB and the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations for the ribbon-cutting part of the event.
Afterward, attendees were invited to tour the new BTB satellite office. Immediately after, refreshments were served while everyone mingled and continued discussing future tourism plans.
The tourism community welcomed the re-opening of the facility. In the past, many noted the inconvenience of traveling to the mainland to renew licenses for hoteliers, tour guides, and operators. While there is an online system, many agree that the presence of a physical office to tend to their queries is much more convenient.

The first time a BTB office opened in San Pedro was in November 2008 under the United Democratic Party government. It was located on the second floor of the San Pedro Public Library by the beach. Sometime after, the office was moved to the SanCas Plaza, where it remained open until it was closed in June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The office has now reopened under the People’s United Party government. Unless there is another major national crisis, it is intended to remain open for an indefinite amount of time.

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