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Belize Tourism Board raises $59,934 for CTO Relief Fund
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), in collaboration with tourism industry stakeholders, raised U.S. $59, 934.00 (Bz $119,868.00) as part of the Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund campaign. The fund was created to assist victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which severely devastated many Caribbean countries in September last year.
This morning Ms. Karen Pike, BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, presented the cheque to Mr. Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) during a virtual press conference hosted by CTO in Barbados.
In presenting the cheque, Ms. Pike said “when we got the news on the Caribbean Relief Fund Campaign, we embraced it immediately because it was not only the right thing to do, but also because it brought all of us in the Caribbean once again even closer together in a unified effort to assist those in need.” She added: “As part of the Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund Campaign, the BTB reached out to the entire country of Belize through the media, press releases, the BTB’s website and its news distribution network.”
In his response, the Secretary General said, “we thank you Belize on behalf of the entire Caribbean family.” During the press conference, an overview on the state of the tourism industry in the Caribbean was also presented.
As part of its Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund Campaign, each participating tourism stakeholder donated a $1 for every guest; the BTB then contributed by donating $1 for every tourist arrival for the month of October therefore, creating a multiplier effect. The BTB initiative was supported by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), Tropic Air, the Belize Airport Concession Company (BACC), Tour Operators, water taxis, and hoteliers amongst many others.
During the first week of September, category 5 Hurricane Irma pummeled a number of Caribbean countries in the northern Leeward Islands and the northern Caribbean leaving a long trail of devastation. Many residents of these countries were left homeless, without food, power, water and basic essentials. Two weeks later, Hurricane Maria followed the same path further exacerbating the level of destruction throwing many of these countries in a severe state of despair. The Caribbean depends on tourism as their chief means of survival and the devastation by both hurricanes has stalled the economies of countries affected, which may take several months or perhaps years to recover.
The BTB and the Belize tourism stakeholders are extremely pleased that they were able to make a contribution towards the Caribbean Relief Fund and take this opportunity to offer their heartfelt thanks to all Belizean stakeholders and organizations that donated generously in order to ease the road to recovery for our Caribbean sister countries.
According to the CTO, approximately U.S. $135,000.00 was raised by the Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund Campaign.
Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, who is currently acting Prime Minister, and the Minister of Agriculture Godwin Hulse are reported to be in safe condition after a Tropic Air plane they were flying crashed into a vehicle at the Placencia municipal airstrip and careened into the Caribbean Sea early this morning.
A release from the government’s press office states that the incident happened around 8:45 a.m., when upon takeoff, the plane’s left landing wheel made contact with a passing vehicle that had managed to bypass one of the lowered barriers, sending the aircraft plunging into the sea right off the coast of Placencia.
Other passengers, who included tourists, reportedly escaped unhurt and were assisted out of the submerged remains by emergency management technicians, police and anglers in the area.
The driver of the vehicle was rushed to the nearest health facility for treatment.
The plane which was en route to Punta Gorda town crashed into a vehicle as it was taking off the airstrip and ended up in the sea.
Both ministers were on their way to Punta Gorda town to open feeding programs at various schools in that municipality.
Tropic Air today announced, in a statement by its CEO, Steve Schulte, that it would suspend its flights to Chetumal and Merida in Mexico, as well as to San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
There will be no flights to these destinations after September 2.
The statement by Tropic Air indicated that the decision, “comes after an in-depth analysis” of their performance over the last four months.
The statements hinted that there was a decrease in travel to these destinations following the May 1 introduction of the departure tax increase.
Tropic Air thanked its loyal customers for accessing the service which it introduced over 5 years ago and expressed its regret that it is unable to “sustain the growing losses.”
The airline was established in 1979 and last year flew hundreds of thousands of passengers and pounds of cargo throughout Belize and to regional destinations in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.
Belize City San Ignacio
Dangriga Belize City
Roatan Belize City
Belize City Belmopan
Punta Gorda Belize City
Belize City Guatemala City
10 Cessna Caravans
1 Twin Otter
1 Cessna 172
2 Gippsland GA8 Airvans
Philip S.W Goldson International Airport
Philip Goldson International Airport is the main airport for Belize City and is the hub airport for Tropic Air and Maya Island Air.
Other airlines which fly to and from this airport include American Airlines, Avianca El Salvador, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Maya Island Air, Southwest Airlines, Tropic Air and United Airlines.
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