Members and invited guests of the San Pedro Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) met yesterday, January 30, 2013, at the Blue Water Grill where the election of their new board members took place. President of the BTIA National, Herbert Haylock and BTIA Executive Director Efren Perez were also in attendance.
Mukul Kanabar of The Phoenix once again took the position of Chairman of the San Pedro Chapter of the BTIA and the following five board positions were filled:
Vice Chair - Gary Greif, Tropic Air
Treasurer - Javier Williams, Victoria House
Secretary - Enes Ramirez - Belize Diving Adventures
Member at Large - Ovel Leonardo, Las Terrazas
Past Chair - Julie Babcock, Caye Casa
With only a little over 30 members in San Pedro, the group is looking forward to increasing membership and being one of the leading groups in the country that can have an influential impact in the country’s industry.
Executive Director of the BITA, Efren Perez, brought those in attendance up to date with the campaigns and workshops provided by the BTIA National, including the president’s initiative to promote membership in chapters nationwide.
“The BTIA wants more involvement and discussion of issues at both national and local levels,” commented BTIA President, Herbert Haylock.
Recently taking up the position as President, Mr. Haylock has already started working hard in reinvigorating the membership process in all the local chapters of the BTIA and ways to bring together all the chapters. He addressed the issues of crime in the country and how the BTIA can be a big part in helping to provide a safer environment; mimicking and implementing similar industry incentive by local groups to others around the country; establishing a database that will tie in all the chapters and making it easier to work each one. He also commented on the BTIA’s involvement in the Belize Tourism Board’s Tourism Action Plan for 2013.
Mukul Kanabar reported that the San Pedro BTIA has been very active in fundraising efforts for the Dr. Otto Polyclinic on the island and that $27,000 has already been collected this year thanks to the following businesses: Tropic Air, Mata Chica, Victoria House, The Phoenix, Grand Belizean Estates and Holiday Hotel.
“Now that we have substantial funds, we are expanding our fundraising effort,” commented Kanabar in his release to BTIA members. “If you, your business, your friends and family, and your customers or guests are interested in contributing, please let us know. The Government has taken some meaningful steps in the past 12 months to improve the hours and the care at the clinic. I'm hopeful that the private sector in San Pedro can step up and do our part.”
The local chapter’s priority with the funds will be to complete the construction of the x-ray room, install the x-ray equipment, and enable the clinic to offer x-ray services to patients. In addition they are working with the clinic staff and the Ministry of Health to finalize other top priorities, which may include new lab equipment (current lab equipment isn't functioning properly), regular visits from specialists, various measures to reinforce or improve after-hours care, etc.