Belize Attends the Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) Investment Conference – Key Takeaways

BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE participated in the 2015 Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) Investment Conference which took place at the J.W. Marriott Marquis in Miami, FL on April 28 – 30, 2015. HOLA is designed to provide an annual meeting place for over 400 hotel executives, investors, lenders, developers and the professional advisory community who are interested in doing deals in one of the world’s hottest hotel markets – Latin America and the Caribbean, which also includes Belize.

One of the key discussion points of course included that of Cuba as the undiscovered Tourism destination as per the recent dialogue on the U.S. dropping its embargo. Indeed, the natural authentic and untouched beauty of Cuba makes it a very attractive destination for hotel and resort developers. Other Latin America and Caribbean destinations demonstrated some concern on Cuba opening up its market and having impacts on their visitor levels; however, it is generally believed that Cuba will not, in fact, create a threat to other destinations like Belize, but rather it will induce a new demand to the region as a whole.

Another key discussion focused on opportunities in Central America where there are still many areas that have not yet been explored. Panelists and brand representatives deemed Central America as an emerging market considering that Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala hold a combined room inventory of 165,086 with 13% of those reported as 4 or 5 star hotel properties. Belize would contribute another 7,428 rooms from the 805 licensed hotels countrywide as of 2014 showcasing that Belize is also a key player in the Central American Tourism market with much room for growth in the accommodation space. (BTB, 2014)

Brand leaders emphasized that most of the opportunities in Central America revolve around the opening of select or limited service hotels due to a better profile fit and return on investment requirements. The major brands also voiced interest in continuing to develop all-inclusive projects in the region. The conference projected a keen focus on hotel occupancy in Central America since supply has been outpacing demand since mid-2012. An emphasis on this current strategy to attract demand is critical to support further hospitality development in Central America with much enthusiasm and optimism. Overall, the construction pipeline in Central America is described to be robust and healthy as experts recommend having the region focus on a strategic plan to boost occupancy.

Finally, a key area of opportunity for Belize discussed at the conference would be in the lifestyle space. The lifestyle brand is driven by the customer and moved by five key drivers under the umbrella of “authenticity” including (1) local relevance, (2) guest connectivity with the hotel, (3) excellent technology, (4) quality food and beverage with emphasis on local flavors and (5) communal or social areas. The key advantages of lifestyle brands is that they do not take the “cookie cutter” approach as many other branded hotels do and instead aim at being dynamic and trendy. The lifestyle brand concept looks at hotels being flexible towards their consumers enabling the exploration of local flavors and the opportunity to “wow” guests with an innovative product not yet present in the area.

Indeed, new hotel developments in Belize are already leaning towards the lifestyle brand niche going from a beachside boutique resort with thatched roofing such as Ramon’s Village to an eco-friendly jungle themed resort such as La Milpa or Chan Chich. Belizean hoteliers continue to lean towards low density and high value developments offering tourists a niche of localized services and amenities. There are still new areas and phenomenon of hotel development that Belize can explore applying innovative architectural and management techniques offering guests more reason to stay in beautiful Belize. BelizeINVEST, the Investment Promotion arm of BELTRAIDE, continues to work with tourism developments throughout Belize while providing on-time support to incentivizing applicable developments. For more information, contact BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE at or call +501-822-3737 / 0175

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Sources: 3 Hot Topics Presented at HOLA Investment Conference 2015 – HVS

Partial Scope Agreement between the Government of Belize and the Republic of Guatemala

The negotiations on the Partial Scope Agreement (PSA), between the Government of Belize and the Government of the Republic of Guatemala, were launched on November 22, 2004. Both countries signed the agreement on 26th June, 2006. In 2009, Belize deposited its Instrument of Ratification to the CARICOM Secretariat and obtained CARICOM’s approval of the Agreement and completed its internal process of ratification that year. Guatemala completed its ratification in March of 2010. With the exchange of information notifying the completion of the internal process in each country, the PSA took effect on 4th April, 2010, thirty days after Guatemala completed its internal process of ratification.

This is Belize’s first negotiated bilateral trade agreement and one which takes into account the obligations to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). This agreement has been seen as an opportunity to enhance trade and commercial relations for both countries.

Currently, Belize has completed the three phases of tariff reductions as outlined in the Tariff Schedules of the Agreement. The main products benefiting from this agreement are: citrus, tilapia, cattle, yellow corn, black beans, red beans, poultry and pepper sauce. This market is expected to offer premium prices relative to world prices. The PSA covers 150 goods, including certain goods under the headings of: animal products; prepared foodstuffs; products of the chemical or allied industries; plastics and articles thereof: rubber and articles thereof; wood and article of wood, wood charcoal; paper and paperboard, articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard; textiles and textiles articles; footwear, gaiter and the like; parts of such articles; glass and glassware; base metals and articles of base metal; and other items.

Continue reading “Partial Scope Agreement between the Government of Belize and the Republic of Guatemala”

Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize), celebrating one year.

On November 25, 2013 the Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize), celebrated its one year anniversary in a grandeur manner. In truth, Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (or MSMEs, as they are commonly known) play a fundamental role in the economic and social development through income and employment generation for a wide cross section of the Belizean population.



Remarkably, SBDCBelize is the first of its type to grace the CARICOM region. On October 31st, 2012, magically and wearisomely in less than a month the organization was birthed. The Government of Belize was integral in supporting the organization alongside invaluable stakeholders such as the Organization of American States, US Misson to the OAS, University of Texas at San Antonio, the Development Finance Corporation, the University of Belize, La Immaculada Credit Union, and with the helpful assistance of Ms. Julianne Buynak PeaceCorp volunteer and Ms. Diana Hernandez, Export Development Officer at BELTRAIDE. The event further reiterated BELTRAIDE’s commitment in ensuring SBDCBelize remains the counsellor/ advisor for aspiring entrepreneurs and that their success will only intensify as they venture in the promising future.

For more pictures of this event, click on link below:


Christmas Expo 2013


The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), is recognized for organizing the largest most distinguished trade show in the nation, “The Expo Belize Market Place”. Over the years the BCCI received various requests from the general public and its members to explore the possibility of another Expo. It is for this reason that last year the BCCI ventured into its first Christmas Expo Extravaganza, which turned out to be a complete success attracting in excess of 4,000 people to the Kings Room of the Princess Hotel.

This year the BCCI, its members and a wide assortment of businesses are bringing Christmas to you, so that you are able to make all your holiday shopping in one location. Join us two days, November 30, and December 1, at the Kings Room of the Princess Hotel from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on both days.

The total number of booths available is 48. Please note that the maximum number of booths that you can apply for as a company is three (3) booths and the total number of passes you can receive is four (4) per company. If you will require more passes, tickets will be available for sale at the Chamber’s office for $3 each.

The Chamber is using a manual application process by a first come, first serve basis. Please click on the links below to view the special rules for this EXPO, and the application form.

Christmas Expo Rules 

Application Form


CARIBBEAN GROWTH FORUM - Belize National Chapter, Launch Workshop


To view more pictures of this event, visit us on facebook


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