Cabinet says it has congratulated the Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations and the Belize Tourism Board for successfully hosting the International Food and Music Festival, held in San Pedro. That came in the wake of a preliminary report by Minister Anthony Mahler to his colleagues on Tuesday. We asked Minister Francis Fonseca about it today.
Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “Well obviously you know cabinet was literally the day after the festival had ended on Sunday on Monday was the holiday and we had cabinet meeting on Tuesday so it was a preliminary report and based on that preliminary report we are satisfied that the BTB met its objectives. The minister has promised a more comprehensive report dealing with the finances of the festival which he has said he will share publicly as well so we have not obviously received that as yet but we are satisfied with the principal objectives of the festival were met. You know it was an excellent event. I myself attended on one night, Saturday night I wasn’t able because of my commitments with the Emancipation Day to attend on Sunday night but on Saturday I thought it was an amazing show I thought both our local performers and the international performers did an excellent job. We had I think close to 5000 people in attendance so I think it did a lot to raise the profile, the entertainment profile of Belize. As they said from the very beginning the whole objective was to uplift the Belize brand to again signal to the world community, to the international community that after two years of COVID that Belize was open back as a tourism destination, that our economy was open and we wanted to put off a big show. At the same time it provided us with an opportunity to get our creative sector, the musicians, artists engaged in so economic activity so I think those objectives were met.”
For its part, the UDP has called for an audit of the spending. Minister Mahler has committed to a full report, which will be presented to both the Cabinet and the public.