The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) celebrated its 35th Annual General Meeting on Thursday, December 3, 2020, via Zoom. The AGM began with outgoing President Melanie Paz presenting the highlights of the targeted accomplishments for 2019/20 to members and guests.
President Paz concluded, “The road ahead is going to be rough, but we will prosper. The Executive Committee have all committed to working even harder to revive our industry. We are pleased that we have established open communications with both Minister Anthony Mahler and CEO Nicole Solano in the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations.”
The Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellency Ramus Li-kuo Chen, honored the BTIA by delivering an inspirational message about current challenges brought on by the COVID19 pandemic and the importance of focus on adequate management and containment of the virus. He stated, “Going forward, it’s foreseeable that pandemic prevention will become a new normal of our daily lives. As long as we have fully prepared ourselves, we should never feel pessimistic. We strongly believe that a new record for world tourism will certainly be set soon after the pandemic subsides.”
The Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Hon. Anthony Mahler was the keynote speaker. In his presentation, he outlined the tourism sector's status and some of the tools and strategies that will form the basis of the tourism sector recovery plan.
“From a wide-angle point of view, I can say that collaborative destination management is a must. I can say that we must engage in a ‘Quality’ over ‘Quantity’ approach. We need to focus on building our resilience to all threats, whether exogenous or local. We must ensure that the contribution of tourism to our economy, environment, and society are properly valued, and in doing so, we must redefine how we as an industry measure our success. Only through these fundamental actions can we forge an industry that will be equitable and viable for the foreseeable future and beyond,” stated Mahler.
A key objective of the 35th Annual General Meeting was to elect the Executive Committee members for the period 2021/22. Elections were held for the posts of President, 1st Vice President, and Secretary. By acclamation, Stewart Krohn was elected to serve as President, Tamara Sniffin will continue as 1st Vice President, and Tanya Silva will continue as Secretary. The BTIA Executive Committee for 2021 is composed as follows:
President Stewart Krohn
1st Vice-President Tamara Sniffin
2nd Vice-President Osmany Salas
Treasurer Raineldo Guerrero
Secretary Tanya Silva
Past President Melanie Paz
The newly elected President of the BTIA, Mr. Stewart Krohn, spoke of the challenges that face the tourism industry and the nation as a whole. Krohn remarked, “Our industry is resilient, as is our country. We are no strangers to adversity. Belize will come back…but only if we work hard and work smart—and above all work together.”
The BTIA expressed gratitude to its members for their unrelenting support itcontinues to represent the tourism industry's best interests. BTIA took the opportunity to thank the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize for sponsoring this year’s Annual General Meeting and said it looks forward to strengthening our partnership with the government in the recovery of our tourism industry.