Sept / Oct 2016 | Business View Caribbean

54 September 2016 - Business View Caribbean Business View Caribbean - September 2016 55 Belize Tourism Industry Association The voice for private sector tourism in paradise Beautiful Belize. A destination akin to paradise. And a hands-down favorite getaway location for business travelers and pleasure seekers, alike. Three decades ago, when the Belize Tourism Industry Association was created, the tourist industry was in its infancy on the island. Today, with the burgeoning growth and success of all manner of tourism-related enterprises in the re- gion, never-before seen challenges are arising… and the BTIA is one busy and dedicated entity. In the early 1980s, a group of forward-thinking indi- viduals saw the huge potential of the tourism industry, and realized the need for a united voice for the private sector. Led by Mrs. Jean Shaw, the group formed the Belize Tourism Industry Association, which was incor- porated under the laws of Belize in 1989, and is now one of the country’s largest non-profit organizations. Executive Director, John Burgos, is responsible for the overall supervision of the BTIA National Secretariat by coordinating and implementing policies and proce- dures in Governance, Administration, Revenue Gener- ation, Membership Outreach and Development, Com- munication and Marketing, Lobbying, and Advocacy. Burgos knows the Association inside-out, and gives some interesting insight on the back story: “In the ‘80s, there was no Ministry of Tourism, no Be- lize Tourism Board. The main industries at the time were sugar cane, citrus, and banana exports. Tourism was nowhere on the government roster, so a group of individuals established the Belize Tourism Industry As- sociation to be a much-needed voice for hotel owners, AT A GLANCE WHO: Belize Tourism Industry Association WHAT: Non-profit organization representing the Belize tourism industry WHERE: National Office in Belize City, Belize WEBSITE :