Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations

San Pedro BTB Office to re-open

San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, has been without a Belize Tourism Board (BTB) office for over three years after it closed in June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This office is essential for tour operators, tour guides, and other industry partners, and as a result, the closure has led to trips to the mainland for tourism queries. But those days are about to be a thing of the past, as on Thursday, October 5th, during a meeting with Tourism Minister Honourable Anthony Mahler, San Pedro stakeholders were informed that the BTB office would soon be re-opened.

Margaritaville Beach Resort in northern Ambergris Caye officially opens

The first Margaritaville Beach Resort in Belize was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, October 4th, in northern Ambergris Caye after a soft opening in March of this year. The new resort, located 13 miles north of San Pedro Town, is described as a secluded, family-friendly hideaway with a stunning beach in front of the second-longest coral reef in the world. The ribbon-cutting ceremony and program included dignitaries and special guests, who were later introduced to the different services and amenities offered by the new beach resort.

MOHW Receives Medical Supplies Donation

In collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, the Straughan & Sigler Foundation, Belize Chinese Association and Build Belize Inc. donated medical supplies and equipment to the Ministry of Health & Wellness (MOHW). This collaborative effort is anticipated to significantly enhance the quality of healthcare in Belize. The donation, valued at over BZ$100,000, will be distributed to health facilities throughout the country.

Increase in international flights to Belize expected this winter season

The following winter season, destinations like Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and other mainland attractions across the country can expect a spike in tourism with the increase in seasonal flights from the United States and Canada. The Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations revealed that these additional direct flights to Belize will surpass those of 2019.

More island youth charged and remanded for gang affiliation

Over the past few weeks, police have arrested and charged several San Pedro youths for affiliating with local gangs. Recent court reports indicate that two more young islanders, Michel Deon Gamboa and Steven Vernon, both from the San Juan subdivision, have been remanded for this offense within the first week of 2023.

Sustainable Tourism Programme II – Utility Transport Vehicles (UTVs) Handing Over

The Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations (MTDR), through the Sustainable Tourism Programme II, handed over four (4) Utility Transport Vehicles (UTVs). These are part of scheduled program activities under Component (3) Institutional Strengthening geared towards the provision of tourism transportation security vehicles and are the final set of transportation vehicles to be handed over under the STPII. These UTVs will assist and improve on the destination management of the tourism sector.

Belizean Diaspora Contribute to Hurricane Lisa Relief Efforts

This week, the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations (MTDR), in conjunction with the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, facilitated the distribution of hurricane relief supplies that were received from several organizations and individuals in the diaspora with the help and coordination of Build Belize Inc. and No Child Hungry. These two organizations have generously organized the consolidation and shipment of much-needed supplies for Belize City residents who are still in need after the Hurricane Lisa.

GOB launches electronic passport system

On Monday, October 24th, the Government of Belize (GOB), through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration, launched the Electronic Passport Issuance and Control System (EPICS) and E-Passports. This upgrade in the immigration department is to end required visits to the main offices in Belmopan, where applicants often stand in line for hours. The system will also address the issue of backlogs delaying the issuance of passports. The new passport application process is moving almost entirely online, requiring one visit to the data capture site and another to the issuance center to pick up the passport.