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    Making Belize Tourism More Sustainable?

    By Keith R | December 2, 2008

    Topics: Sustainable Tourism | 1 Comment »

    1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

    Photo: IDBTemas Note: What I like about this loan is that it explicitly seeks to incorporate “sustainable tourism criteria” (hopefully the recently announced global criteria) into the master plan that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will help the Government of Belize to develop, and it makes provisions for helping small businesses meet the costs of upgrading to such standards. Certainly Belize needs that! Hopefully sustainable tourism will also figure prominently in the branding strategy called for in the loan.

    From the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB):

    Belize gets IDB support to develop and expand Tourism

    The Bank will help Belize develop master plan for tourism, improve facilities for visitors in key destinations

    Belize will get support from the Inter-American Development Bank to improve infrastructure in several key tourism destinations, design a master plan to develop its tourism industry and build a marketing strategy to attract more visitors.

    The IDB will provide a loan of as much as US$13.3 million to help Belize expand its tourism industry in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. The country’s tourism sector, which in recent years has lost market share to other countries in Central America, accounts for 22 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and employs an estimated 25 percent of the labor force.

    The program will invest in the restoration and improvement of facilities in four highly-sought tourism destinations in the country: San Ignacio and surroundings in Cayo District; Ambergris Caye in Belize District; Placencia peninsula in Stann Creek District; and Belize City. Taken together, these four destinations account for about 64 percent of tourism earnings in the country.

    Works in these four areas include construction and improvement of information centers and other facilities for visitors; construction to restore beaches and reduce erosion, landscaping, and restoration of the urban center. In addition, the IDB will finance the preparation of a National Tourism Master Plan for the entire sector; the development of an updated country branding strategy and a matching grant facility for micro and small businesses helping to strengthen value chains for tourism and offset the cost of complying with standards including sustainable tourism criteria. The program also seeks to support communities in promoting tourist access to the Maya and Garifuna cultures.

    The loan, denominated in U.S. dollars, has a 25-year maturity and a 50-month grace period.

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    One Response to “Making Belize Tourism More Sustainable?”

    1. Justen Says:

      The grant facility for the micro and small businesses is also an important part of the support being provided and should hopefully ensure that funding isn’t just tied up in the “big ticket” projects.

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