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Protect Our Manatees – “Go Slow” Sign Installed on Belize River

BTB and stakeholders install sign on Belize River reminding tour guides to protect manatees

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), in collaboration with the Port Authority, Sea 2 Shore Alliance and the Belize Manatee Conservation Project, has installed a sign  on  the  estuary  of  the  Belize  River with  the  aim  to  remind  tour  guides  of  their responsibility to protect Belize’s natural resources.

The  installation of  the  sign  was  deemed  necessary  due  to  increasing  public  concerns  regarding some tour guides touching and feeding manatees as part of their tours.

Manatees are a vital resource of our national tourism product.  As the leading statutory body charged with promoting and marketing Belize as a leading tourism destination, the BTB is also mandated to actively promote the protection of our natural, cultural, ecological and environmental resources and  attractions  as  stipulated    by  law  to  ensure  the  sustainability  and  viability  of  our dynamic tourism industry.

The  BTB takes  the  opportunity to  remind  all  those  that  traverse  our  waterways,  including tour operators and tour guides, that in the execution of their duties they are bound by law to protect all of Belize’s natural resources and attractions. In doing so, the BTB urges them to discourage tourists and the general public from getting too close, touching or feeding wildlife such as Manatees and other species, which are protected by the Wildlife Protection Act and the Endangered Species and Conservation Act of Belize.

Manatees, in particular, are sensitive animals; they form an integral part of Belize’s tourism attractions and eco-systems  and  their  habitat  should  NOT  be  disturbed  or  damaged  under  any circumstance.

The protection of our wildlife and environment is essential to the sustainability and viability of our tourism assets and industry.

The BTB reiterates its commitment to work closely with industry stakeholders to protect Belize’s natural resources and attractions and to ensure the sustainability of our national tourism product.

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