Tourism is one of the driving forces of the Belizean economy. With assistance from Mexico, the service industry in this sector can be improved. In this regard, Belize and Mexico signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will allow for Belizeans working in the tourism industry to receive further training from Mexico. Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, Carlos Quesnel Melendez explained how this will be accomplished.
Carlos Quesnel Melendez – Ambassador of Mexico: “We are very happy that at the Embassy we will be able to work and establish different activities that will lead to promote the capabilities of Belize in the Sector industry. We are aware that Tourism is very important to the economy of this country as well as it is for Mexico. We are two countries that have experience in the Tourism sector and again we are aware that tourist can bring benefits to both Mexico and Belize and we are ready at the Embassy to work together with BTIA in building and promoting the construction of these capabilities in the Tourism sector.”
Raineldo Guerrero, the President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) said the Mexicans are known to be excellent service providers.
Raineldo Guerrero – President of BTIA: “We recognize that our biggest neighbor which is Mexico is also one of the largest opportunities we have for Tourism. While Belize has traditionally looked at the US market and through the Belize Tourism Board they have been looking at Europe and other parts of the world. We have also had quite a bit of discussions with how we can maximize the benefit of the cross border Tourism from Mexico including Chetumal Yucatan Quintana Roo area. The signing of this Memorandum is a step forward. We recognize that many Belizeans go to Mexico for vacation and they have found a level of service that is in comparable to many other destinations that we go.”
During the conference, John Burgos, the Executive Director of BTIA spoke about the different training programs that are available.
John Burgos – Executive Director of BTIA: “The MOU is going to be focusing on four areas whereby we are going to bring: one of them is going to be to bringing professionals in different areas. Particularly in Customer service frontline staff training. We are looking to have Waiting staff training, we are looking to have Bartending training and we are looking to have Chef cooking staff training. It’s going to work in two ways. We are going to bring professionals that have expertise to Belize and they are going to do different visitations countrywide and we are going to also be looking to have two exchange programs. One of them is to providing opportunity for students doing their Tourism programs at the Jr. College level or University level that are able during the Summer time or Christmas time or Easter time where they have two weeks, four weeks, whatever the number of period of time that they have available. Maybe they can go partner at a hotel, at a restaurant based on what ever specific focus they want to pursue in the Tourism industry. Also we are looking to have trainers program. We want to identify people that have been working in the industry for a number of years and they have a certain level of expertise and knowledge so what we want to do is be able to provide them with the opportunity to get proper certification that is going to legitimize and accredit the skills that they possess.”
Burgos said that it is the first time Belize is collaborating with Mexico with this type of initiative.