Last week we reported that the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) launched an investigation on the website http://globalfantasies.com/belize which was promoting Belize as a sex tourism destination. This website purports to offer their services through local accommodations and tour operators sectors. This week the BTB sent out another release, but this time to industry partners around the country warning them about the consequences for going against the Hotel and Tourist Accommodation Act, Chapter 285 of the Substantive Laws of Belize (the “Act”).
The BTB stated that although they do not have reason to believe that the site is a legitimate service, they do take matters such as these very seriously. The Board continues to investigate alongside other government agencies.
According to Section 27 (1) of the Act, it is an offence for any person who having been granted a license to use any premises for the business of a hotel or tourist accommodation, to use such premises otherwise than in accordance with the terms and conditions of such licence issued by the Registrar of Hotels. Such person who commits an offence under this Act is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both such fine and term of imprisonment.
The BTB also noted that the Registrar has the authority under the Act to suspend or cancel a licence and order the closure of such accommodation where a person refuses to comply with his directions. Information coming forth to Ambergris Today has confirmed that the website is a scam and only using the name of Belize to rip off people of their money. One man claims to Ambergris Today that he booked a $24,680USD, 14-day trip vacation to Belize through Global Fantasies/Traveller’s Digest that included a 5-star hotel, all meals and drinks, excursions, a personal taxi driver and a beautiful lady for each day of his stay. He confirms that upon arriving to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, his accommodations were paid for only one week to the amount of $1,505USD in a simple cabin with none of the other services booked as confirmed by Global Fantasies. Clearly the scam website service stole from him and used the service of the hotel on the island to only book for one week of accommodations with the hotel not being aware of any services from Global Fantasies.
The Belize Tourism Board stresses that it is committed to the growth of the tourism industry as a safe and sustainable means for the economic and social development of Belizeans, and in no way condones, encourages and supports sex tourism as a part of the Belize’s tourism product offering. The BTB reminded its industry partners of their legal obligations and also encouraged them to report any activities that are contrary to Laws of Belize and to the Police Department.