Mahogany Street Gets a Makeover: BTB and City Council Collaboration
Around thirty-five shops along Mahogany Street in Belize City have all gotten a facelift, thanks to a project between the Belize Tourism Board and Belize City Council. Today, the council and the BTB held the official inauguration for the project, in front of St. Luke’s Methodist School. Area Representative for Lake I Cordel Hyde said that the project is one of several in the area, aimed at uplifting the surroundings, and improving the standard of living for the residents.
Cordel Hyde, Area Representative, Lake Independence: “It’s a big day for our people. It’s a big deal to create an opportunity for our people. Our people just want to work and so it’s about bettering our communities, bettering our families, one person, one family at a time and I think through this initiative we are making our people more self reliant, making our people more independent and that’s the ultimate goal to have our people reach the point where they want to reach, where they can lift themselves out of poverty and take care of their families and really push out their chest and be proud of what they’re doing in their lives and to be able to ensure that their children, the generation that comes after them lives better than they’ve lived. That’s the ultimate challenge of parenting and so we’re glad to contribute that to be part of this process. We’re actually working on a park. We have multiple parks that we are working on. We’ve actually acquired a double lot on Mahogany Street and we’re in the process of acquiring another one so that we can build more booths and provide more opportunities for more families. Our people are excited about development, excited about where we’re going. In opposition we had to tell people, paint a picture about what’s to come now in government we’re about trying to bring flesh to the word and show people what it is about how much more we can accomplish if we work together as a team the Central Government and the City Council to try to make the lives of our people better and ultimately that’s the goal.”
Minister of Tourism Anthony said that the project was people-centered but will also help to improve Belize City’s overall tourism product.
Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations: “Because tourism is half of the economy and yes we said this is going to be hub for cruise passengers to come and we’re working on that and I just told the Deputy that we need to start to have some night entertainment out here, music, all the people out here have to create that vibrancy. It happens all across the world you create a vibe in a location nad people gravitate towards it and tourism is half of the economy. The other day I was fortunate to see the plans for the new Radisson, Biltmore is upgrading, you have other properties being built so Belize City is becoming a hub. We already get almost 650,000 cruise passengers and overnight passengers passing through to go to the other destination so when they say Belize City is not a tourist destination it is, that’s because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Belize City is a tourist destination and it deserves the love, care and attention like any other destination any part of the world.”
Mahler added that, apart from upgrading the shops, the BTB provided equipment assistance to business owners as well.