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Crime continues to be a threat to Tourism

The Belize Tourism Board has undertaken several activities to keep the tourism industry vibrant; however, crime continues to be a threat, especially since there have been quite a few foreigners killed in Belize over the past two years and this has caused some bad press for Belize. In January 2016, Matthew Klinck, a Canadian national and Anne Swaney, an American were both murdered in separate incidents in Belize.    In April of this year, Francesca Matus, a Canadian national and her American boyfriend, Drew Devoursney, went missing and were later discovered dead. Earlier this month, Gabriel Bochnia, another Canadian national was killed in Corozal. On Friday, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) held its annual conference. The keynote speaker of BTB’s conference was Dr. Peter E. Tarlow, an expert on impact of crime and terrorism on the Tourism Industry. Dr.Tarlow shared with Love News the highlights of his presentation.

Dr. Peter E. Tarlow

“I wanted to bring out the concept that without security there is no tourism. And were spending a lot of time on sustainability, and security is the basic concept of sustainability. When we speak about security we don’t only mean issues of crime or terrorism. We also mean safety for the visitors, protecting the people working in the tourism industry, maintaining a strong reputation for the country, maintaining good economy and taking care of the ecology of the nation. In today’s world security is a very important part of marketing, and one of the things that I explain is that perception may not be correct but the consequences are always true. So we cannot allow Belize to ever have the perception that it’s not safe. Rather we have to work every day not thinking of the past but ensuring that we have a better tomorrow.”