Wednesday, May 22, 2024

San Pedro Tour Operators Association holds elections


Elections to appoint new board members for the San Pedro Tour Operators Association (SPTOA) were held on April 9th. Roberto Canul was re-elected as Chairperson and Ovel Leonardo as Vice-Chairperson. Five other individuals were nominated and accepted to serve on the board. They include Dianela Hancock, Dora Gonzalez, Marcus Alamina, Eben Schaefer, and Nito Vasquez. The board members will meet at a later meeting to select the secretary and treasurer.
Chairman Canul has been heading the SPTOA since 2020, navigating the association through the COVID-19 pandemic. Canul shared that he was looking forward to handing over the chairmanship to someone else but was again nominated. He accepted the nomination under the condition that within a year, Vice-Chairperson Leonardo would be mentored to assume the role of Chairperson. “Leading the association is a commitment that I take very passionately, as I see the many things that we as operators can do to better our community, our environment, and make tourism sustainable,” said Canul. “We are strengthening our relationships with the other associations on the island like the tour guide association, fishermen association and the fly-fishing association.” Canul noted this year they are launching a campaign to promote operators both locally and internationally via marketing materials like videos. Additionally, the organization will continue raising awareness among visitors about using the services of certified tour operators only.
The meeting also discussed other activities for this year. These included the continued support for the Kids in Action Scuba Diving summer program and a buoy project for several dive and snorkeling sites throughout the northern and southern parts of San Pedro’s eastern coast. Canul said that all operators use these areas but need additional buoys. The association looks forward to joining with other associations to start this important project.
The election meeting ended with a brief discussion on the reportedly proposed increase in park fees by the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the financial report. The total collected from membership dues was BZ$4,229, and no expenses were reported. The total in the SPTOA account is now BZ$11,859.28.

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