Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Business & Economy

Businesses ticketed for price gouging; almost a dozen violators in San Pedro

To control price gouging across the country, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise created a Price Control Unit (PCU) and has sent inspectors to different municipalities to address non-compliant establishments. In San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, the 11 stores visited by inspectors were ticketed for price control violations. In Caye Caulker, non-compliance was reported at 75% of businesses visited, and inspectors received minimal cooperation from establishments.

BTB San Pedro’s satellite office re-opens

After being closed for over three years, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) office branch in San Pedro Town re-opened on Monday, October 30th, during an official ceremony at the Sunset Boardwalk. The anticipated BTB satellite office on the island is now located at the international water taxi terminal at the Sunset Boardwalk. It will be essential for tour operators, tour guides, and other tourism stakeholders, who will now be assisted with their tourism queries and processes on the island without the need to travel to the mainland.

Seminar in San Pedro aims to expand the market for Pitahaya (Dragon Fruit)

During a two-day seminar (October 25-26) held in San Pedro Town with island stakeholders, the sessions aimed to develop action plans for promoting and expanding a local market for the Pitahaya (Dragon Fruit) harvested in Belize. The workshop was made possible through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise joint efforts, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation (BMDC), and the Ministry of Tourism.

Belize back on the EU tax haven blacklist

On Tuesday, October 17th, the European Union (EU) added the Seychelles, Antigua, Barbuda, and Belize to its tax haven blacklist. It removed the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, and the Marshall Islands. The Government of Belize (GOB) rejected this decision by the EU, referring to it as false and unfair in designating the Jewel as a ‘non-cooperative jurisdiction for tax purposes.’

Hope Haven’s women’s skills training on manicure and pedicure graduates 30 participants

On Friday, October 13th, a graduation ceremony was held at the Sunbreeze Hotel conference room where 30 women were recognized for completing a manicure and pedicure training facilitated by non-profit organization Hope Haven Children’s Home and Empowerment Center in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Taiwan Technical Mission in Belize. The training also helped the participants with marketing skills, budgeting, work ethics, and the best strategies for starting and managing a business establishment.

San Pedro BTB Office to re-open

San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, has been without a Belize Tourism Board (BTB) office for over three years after it closed in June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This office is essential for tour operators, tour guides, and other industry partners, and as a result, the closure has led to trips to the mainland for tourism queries. But those days are about to be a thing of the past, as on Thursday, October 5th, during a meeting with Tourism Minister Honourable Anthony Mahler, San Pedro stakeholders were informed that the BTB office would soon be re-opened.

Post-Covid tourism in Belize; Tourism Ministry says arrivals on the rise

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Belize’s economy plummeted after the tourism industry came to a grinding halt. Fast-forward to 2023, the tourism industry has returned, but some believe it doesn’t compare to 2019. On Thursday, September 28th, the Ministry of Tourism shared an update on the state of the industry, citing that the overnight arrivals continue to show improvement and the upcoming high season is expected to be very successful.

Four Seasons breaks ground on Caye Chapel Resort and Residences

On Saturday, September 2nd, the construction plans of a five-star Four Seasons resort on Caye Chapel were revealed during a groundbreaking ceremony on the private island. The international luxury hotel and resort company plans to construct a 104-room hotel, 50 private residences, a 10-hole White Shark Golf Course designed by retired professional golfer Greg Norman, and over-the-water accommodations that include hotel guests’ rooms, shared facilities, and a detached swimming area offshore. Other amenities will include an upgraded marina, health and wellness facility, a private beach clubhouse, restaurants, cafes, and a 3,400-foot runway for Cessna planes. Caye Chapel Four Seasons is set to open in 2025.

Belize: Endless Opportunities! San Pedro hosts the Belize Investment Summit

Prime Minister Honourable Dr. John Briceño officially opened the second edition of the Belize Investment Summit on Thursday, August 31st, at the Grand Caribe Resort north of San Pedro Town. The summit, held under the theme 'Belize: Endless Opportunities!' is organized to attract local and foreign investment to the country. One of the main topics highlighted at the summit's opening is the importance of exploring other aspects to build the economy, one of these being the Orange Economy, explained by special guest and keynote speaker former Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez.

Digital Connect Center launched in San Pedro

On Wednesday, August 30th, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), BELTRAIDE, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) gathered at the public library to officially unveil a project to assist island entrepreneurs with digital tools to improve their online presence. The new Digital Connect Center located on the second floor of the public library building is equipped with computers, and it will soon be opened to those needing this resource to enhance their business strategies and better promote their products and services.

Former Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez to speak at Belize Investment Summit in San Pedro

The second edition of the Belize Investment Summit will officially open with an inaugural ceremony on Thursday, August 31st, at the Grand Caribe Resort north of San Pedro Town. The event, held every two years, aims to showcase the investment opportunities in Belize and inspire current stakeholders to expand. The summit welcomed potential investors and stakeholders with motivational speakers from Belize and abroad. Attending the event this time as the keynote speaker is former President of Colombia, Ivan Duque Marquez. He is considered very vocal about the importance of the Orange Economy, which Marquez will promote at the summit.