Hotel Association holds annual general meeting
Hoteliers from across the country converged on the Old Capital this morning for the annual general meeting of the Belize Hotel Association. The conference comes on the heels of a significant upturn in overnight arrivals during the first quarter of 2013. The overnight sector is the biggest revenue generator in the tourism industry. While the achievement is being celebrated by stakeholders across the business, there are concerns that crime remains a deterrent. Additionally, growth in cruise tourism arrivals is forcing all involved to take a serious look at environmental awareness, since the numbers reflect an influx that is greater than the population of the entire country.
Douglas Thompson, President, Belize Hotel Association
“As with any general meeting the first purpose is to report to our members in terms of what happened in the past year and in this case also to elect the new members of the board and the president, well the entire slate has to be re-elected or elected this year.”
“In terms of significant progress or regression that may have occurred over the past fiscal year with regards to the hotel industry in Belize, what can you share with us?”
“Well, we are extremely happy with the way things are going in the industry for the overnight portion of tourism. Our numbers are up significantly over 2010-2011. So 2012 has been a bumper crop and all projections are, going forward, 2013 is going to be also a very good year for the industry.”
“Outside of the successes within the hotel industry over the past year, what are some of the challenges that you believe need to be addressed in terms of making the industry better?”
“Well, overall, and this applies across the board, our biggest problem continues to be crime. We need to get a better handle on the crime situation. In addition to that we also have to be mindful of the growth in the cruise sector that we have to be careful as to how we manage that in terms of numbers. The share volume of the people that are coming to our shores impacts our environment more than our residents because we’re only three hundred and fifty thousand people living in Belize. The cruise [tourism arrivals], over a year amounts to a whole lot more than our three hundred and fifty thousand and they impact this environment in a major way and so we have to be careful. We don’t want to become just another destination, another cruise destination.”
Douglas Thompson, along with his slate of BHA executives, has been re-elected as president of the association to serve for another term in office.