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BTB Commemorates Tourism Awareness Week

This Monday marked the official commencement of Tourism Awareness Week 2006, which will be celebrated nationwide through Sunday, January 22. In an effort to involve both the local and visiting population in celebrating Belize, its natural splendor and the overall developments of the tourism industry.

The Belize Tourism Board, in partnership with various NGOs and private sector organizations, sponsored numerous enlightening as well as engaging activities. Tourism Awareness Week, as the name implies, also aims at bringing focus on the intricacies of this dynamic industry, simultaneously saying thanks to all those who have contributed to building the industry.

Activities featured on the calendar of events included a field trip to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary for Placencia school children and several open days throughout the week in San Ignacio, Stann Creek, where the BTB and other industry partners came together to educate students on the benefits of tourism and the contributions of the industry to Belize’s economy.

Twelve schools participated in BTB’s Second Annual Social Studies Quiz Competition. As a part of the implementing of a regional climate change project, a Tourism Sector Vulnerability Assessment Workshop was held at the Coastal Zone Management Conference Room.

During the week, the Belize Tourism Board also officially started the beautification project of the cruise passengers’ City Tour Route. The Visitor Appreciation Days will take place at several of the main ports of entry, including the Philip Goldson International Airport, and the Fort Street Tourism Village. Visitors are greeted by special musical entertainment and given a variety of Belizean made products.

There was also the Annual Arts & Crafts show on Tuesday, January 17, highlighting the creativity of Belizean producers and entrepreneurs providing them with an audience to showcase their craft. The official introduction of the Multilateral Investment Fund Project Unit and the National Protected Areas System Plan Stakeholders’ Forum was also a part of the activities slated to generate more interest and knowledge on the importance of the natural environment to Belize’s tourism product.

As an additional feature, there were two local media tours. The main purpose of the tours was to acquaint the media with the newer activities that the private sector partners have to offer. This Friday, January 20, the 6th Annual National Tourism Awards Ceremony celebrating the exemplary commitment and excellence in service standards gets underway where exceptional individuals and organizations who work tirelessly for this industry are recognized.

“The tourism industry is a major contributor of our economy,” said Tourism Minister Godfrey Smith. ‘One in every four persons is employed either directly or indirectly by the tourism sector. Tourism Awareness Week has been dedicated to highlight the on-going development of the industry.

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