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San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, June 8, 2022. The Belize Tourism Board, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Tourism Police Unit signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding to improve the tourism enforcement activities taking place at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR), one of the most visited natural attractions in Belize. This MOU formalizes an already effective working relationship between the three agencies, that has seen the execution of numerous enforcement and monitoring visits by the Belize Tourism Board and Tourism Police Unit within the HCMR and surrounding areas.

Assistant Superintendent Aliyson McLaughlin, Office-In-Charge of the Tourism Police Unit, expressed, “The Tourism Police Unit and the Belize Police Department continues to lend support to all stakeholders in an effort to promote, rebuild and preserve the tourism industry. We thank the BTB and Hol Chan Marine Reserve for engaging in this important initiative.”

Featured in the partnership agreement is a mechanism for technical, knowledge, and information exchange, intelligence meetings, strategic operations, and capacity development. Signing on behalf of the Belize Tourism Board was Mr. Evan Tillett, Director of Tourism; on behalf of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Mr. Ian Pou, Executive Chairman; and, on behalf of the Tourism Police Unit, Assistant Superintendent, Ms. Aliyson McLaughlin.

Mr. Ian Pou, Executive Chairman of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, expressed, “Hol Chan Marine Reserve remains committed to working hand in hand with stakeholders in the best interest of conservation and the tourism industry.” 

Expressing the strategic importance of this agreement was Mr. Evan Tillett, Director of Tourism, who stated, “Enforcement is a critical component of being able to provide a world class product and quality experience to our guests. While the focus is not solely to regulate, but instead to support a process of continual improvement, partnerships such as these are paramount in our ability to provide a responsive and accountable enforcement system. We look forward to continue building our partnership with Hol Chan and the TPU to achieve this objective.”

Strengthening Enforcement of Tourism Operations within Hol Chan Marine Reserve

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