The Belize Tourism Board and the Belize Tourism Industry Association are both mandated to work in the tourism sector as their name suggests. While their roles are similar, Executive Director, John Burgos spoke on the difference in roles and responsibilities.
“The difference is very basic the Belize Tourism Board which is referred to as the BTB they represent the government they are the ones that collect all the taxes and they do a lot of licensing and they also do a lot of the overseeing of the standards that are being maintained within the industry. Now when it comes to the BTIA, the Belize Tourism Industry Association we are a membership association but we are the leading private sector association and we are recognized as such as the umbrella organization. What that means is that it allows the BTIA to represent all the stakeholders. On the structure of our board we have a seat saved for all the different national tour guide associations , the tour operators association, the hotel associations, the cruise service providers, they all have a seat on our board and with that we are able to represent all of their interest. For example our president also sits on the board of the BTB so he is able to implement strategic planning that takes place within the Belize Tourism Industry, Tourism Board and he is also able to alter or influence the budget. As you know these are millions of dollars we are talking about and so he is able to represent the interest of the private sector. In addition we have different board members that are allowed to represent different other entities for example PACT is one of our board members, NIAC we also have a board member who is part of that. These are a few key areas and those are just a few to mention.”
Burgos is the BTIA’s Executive Director while Osmany Salas is the President of the board.