Representatives of the Belize’s tourism sector are closely monitoring the global Monkeypox outbreak. While the country remains free of the disease cases, stakeholders such as the Belize Hotel Association are remaining vigilant. The hospitality industry is slowly rebounding from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and is fearful that business may once again come to a screeching halt. Today, the BHA’s President, Reynaldo Malik, spoke about how the association is monitoring the situation.
Reynaldo Malik, President, Belize Hotel Association: “Well it seems like the hits just keep on coming right? For the time being we are, I don’t want to say at the mercy of but the information coming to us is a little limited. In the meantime we are doing our own research, learning the basics of it. Off the top of my head I would say this is a little bit more scarier than COVID, believe it or not just simply because with COVID we could wear a mask. We could social distance, etc. This one is said, the most common way it spreads is basically off of surfaces. So that’s a little bit scarier because then how we are not going to touch surfaces though our daily lives, our routines right? So this one, to me, is a little bit scarier but one of the things that encourages me is that it’s not an unknown. It’s really been around for a while and so there are treatments and vaccines for it. Hopefully, we will take something like this much more seriously than we did COVID in the early days and get the necessary programs in place, whether it’s through the Ministry of Health and then in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism. Any business, whether it’s in tourism or any business in general, we take this very seriously and whatever the guidelines that they come up with, and I hope it’s soon that we start o exercise those guidelines as quickly as possible.”