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Belmopan, Belize - A commitment from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Belize Tourism Board to invest in a quality tourism experience and improved visitor management at Belize’s archaeological sites was cemented on July 13.

Construction contracts totaling over $680,000Bz ($346,000US) were signed with two local firms, ASCON and Usher Construction Ltd.

Under the Sustainable Tourism Program (STP), funds totaling $504,596.74Bz will be spent on expanded bathroom and interpretation facilities at Cahal Pech and Belize’s second most visited site, Xunantunich. A new visitor centre will be built at Xunantunich to present and communicate its history, architecture and Maya cosmology. The existing visitor centre at Cahal Pech will undergo a revamp, and improvements will be made to the site trail. The enhancements are timely, as Cahal Pech is the chosen venue for a number of the special events planned to celebrate the completion of the 13th B'ak'tun in December.

Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) will benefit from $177,500Bz investment. It is an exclusive tour, as ATM is one of the most spectacular subterranean Maya archaeological sites in the region. By December, visitors will enjoy complete restroom and bathing facilities, set in a landscaped jungle environment at the entrance to the site.

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