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Tourism and Leisure Set to Develop Master Plan for the Belize Tourism Industry Agreement signed between consultancy firm and Ministry of Tourism Civil Aviation and Culture

- Press Release, Belize City, Belize, March 30, 2010 - The Ministry of Tourism Civil Aviation and Culture signed a Bz$822,700 contract with Spanish consultancy firm, Tourism and Leisure EuroPraxis Consulting (T & L) to develop the much anticipated, National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan for the country. The company was selected according to IDB's standard quality cost based selection procedures following interest from 46 firms across the globe.

Specialists in the tourism and leisure sector worldwide, the winning firm is well seasoned in national tourism master planning having recently completed the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan for Panama 2007-2010, and the strategic tourism development plan for Ecuador (PLANDETUR 2020). The T & L team members are professionals in tourism specific areas of policy; physical planning; economics; environmental, social and sustainable development; and communications, and include local counterparts to ensure a national perspective at every step.

The plan will be the country's blueprint for future tourism development for the next 20 years and promises to be instrumental in guiding tourism investment and growth. It will define strategies and activities, and provide distinct mapping that translates sustainable objectives into actions. The team will be tasked with 3 phases: a diagnosis of Belize's tourism sector, the development of the National Sustainable Tourism Master plan, and destination specific tourism development plans for Belize City waterfront, Ambergris Caye, San Ignacio and Placencia. Each phase is expected to be a highly participatory process involving stakeholders in each district across the country. The process will build on best practice for sustainable tourism planning internationally and will constitute a clear road map that will focus on a zoning approach to tourism development. The final plan is anticipated to be completed mid 2011.

The contract is the second project agreement signed to date under the Sustainable Tourism Program which promises to carry out numerous civil works, planning and capacity building tourism projects. The first contract for Bz$295, 000 was signed in February with local firm, International Environments Ltd. to conduct the technical and environmental studies and architectural designs for a municipal Pier and plaza to be constructed by the STP at Placencia Point.

Funding for the US$15million Sustainable Tourism Program is provided by the Government of Belize through an IDB loan, the Belize Tourism Board, and the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture. For more information about the program please contact the Project Co-ordinating Unit at [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit the STP website www.sustainabletourismbz.org.

Caption for STP Photo 1: The STP Team, Mr. Jordi Ferrer, Managing Partner Tourism and Leisure, (3rd left) Mr. Michael Singh CEO, Ministry of Tourism Civil Aviation and Culture, (far right) and Ms. Seleni Matus (Director, Belize Tourism Board (2nd right)

Caption for STP Photo 2: Mr. Noel Jacobs, Project Director STP, Mr. Jordi Ferrer, Managing Partner Tourism and Leisure), Mr. Michael Singh CEO, Ministry of Tourism Civil Aviation and Culture, and Ms. Seleni Matus (Director, Belize Tourism Board)

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