The invasion of sargassum along Belize’s coastline has greatly affected the communities of San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Hopkins and Placencia. These communities have been doing all that they can to minimize the amount of accumulation of sargassum on their sea front. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has come up with a strategy to fight this phenomena after touring the affected areas and meeting with the various stakeholders. This afternoon, BTB held a press conference to share with the media the strategy that they will be embarking upon.
Karen Bevans Director of Tourism: “Based on our consultations with stakeholders we are pleased to officially inform you that the following assistance as been approved and will be implemented immediately to assist those properties which have been impacted by Sargassum. Two percent from the 9 % hotel tax deal which is a 22.2% reduction on the monthly accommodation tax returns for all coastline properties affected by Sargassum. For affected destinations of San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Placencia and Hopkins, the reduction in monthly accommodation tax is applicable for four consecutive months, mainly October, November and December of 2018 and January 2019. In addition the Government of Belize has agreed that coastline properties in the affected destinations wishing to import Sargassum materials and equipment can apply for duty exemption from the Ministry of Finance through the BTB. Finally the Government of Belize has also agreed to contribute $1.5 million to assist BTB in assisting municipal bodies in San pedro, Placencia, Caye Caulker and in Hopkins in the containment and control of the Sargassum.
Bevans said that these measures will assist the affected communities in preparing for the high season.