Monday, June 24, 2024

San Pedro BTIA chapter holds Annual General Meeting and Membership Mixer

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SP BTIA Chairwoman Tamara Sniffin

On Tuesday, November 14th, the Belize Tourism Industry Association San Pedro chapter (SP BTIA) held its Annual General Meeting with a social gathering at the Hidden Treasure Restaurant. Members and guests attended the event, with Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez, Mayor Gualberto’ Wally’ Nuñez, and BTIA President Stewart Krohn as special guests. The annual gathering also saw the introduction of the new Chairman of the island’s BTIA chapter, Nick Scavone.
Outgoing Chairwoman Tamara Sniffin welcomed everyone to the venue and, shortly after 7PM, started the event’s formalities. Sniffin recognized everyone who has supported the BTIA San Pedro Chapter and summarized some of their accomplishments. From her appointment as Chairlady in 2016, Sniffin highlighted the tourism organization’s impact on San Pedro. Not just helping to promote the businesses and products of their active members but also their engagement in community projects. Some of these include a massive clean-up campaign along the San Pedrito Highway in partnership with the previous San Pedro Town Council administration in November 2018. The San Pedro BTIA even adopted a superhero mascot, Captain Conch, to continue their campaign to keep the island trash-free.
Sniffin also highlighted their involvement in partnering with other groups on the island during the COVID-19 pandemic to help those most in need. Sniffin pointed out some of their fundraisers to contribute to the island community, such as a Pickleball tournament and the first-ever Beer Fest in San Pedro, of which close to a thousand dollars was donated to the SPTC towards renovating the Artisan Market. Mayor Nuñez humbly accepted a cheque presented by outgoing Chairlady Sniffin.

The work of the BTIA San Pedro Chapter has also seen the opening of a Tourism Information Center on the same block as the Artisan Market. Sniffin stated that since its opening in May 2022, it has been busy welcoming tourists seeking information about the services and activities on the island. She ended by saying it was an honor to serve as the chairwoman and that she would be available to help in any way she could.

Mayor Gualberto’ Wally’ Nuñez

Mayor Nuñez was invited to the podium to share remarks as a guest speaker. Nuñez commended all the BTIA San Pedro Chapter’s work and thanked them for their continued work toward the benefit of tourism. With that, he spoke about San Pedro as a destination. “We remain the most visited destination because of the beauty of our area, our services, and the charisma of our people,” said Nuñez. “We are bringing innovation and unprecedented development to our island.” He noted the current street paving tackling the main streets through the subdivisions. Nuñez said developing the island’s tourism product is a joint effort, and his team is more than happy to count on an active and vibrant local BTIA chapter.

BTIA President Stewart Krohn

BTIA’s President, Stewart Krohn, spoke about what is happening nationally. Krohn mentioned the increase in airlift for the upcoming tourism season. JetBlue Airlines will be starting a new route between New York City, USA, and Belize, and with increasing daily flights from other United States cities, it is a reminder of the demand the Belizean tourism industry will experience. The President spoke about grants and loans available for tourism projects and advised those interested to put in the work, get qualified, and apply. Krohn lauded the Ministry of Tourism’s partnership for considering this industry’s contribution to the government.

Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez

Area Representative Perez reiterated his government’s commitment to working with the tourism sector and making Belize a better place for visitors. Perez said that in the future, as the demand for Belize continues, the air transfers to the island will have to upgrade to larger aircraft. This also hinted at the intentions for a new, larger airport in San Pedro.

SP BTIA Chairman Elect 2024 Nick Scavone

Incoming Chairman Scavone thanked everyone for attending the meeting and committed to continue moving the organization forward to benefit its members. He recognized Sniffin for her hard work and dedication, significantly contributing to the island chapter’s success. He looks forward to the challenge and said he would give his best, but encouraged everyone to continue in the joint effort and extended an invitation for new members.
At the end of the formalities, guests and BTIA members were treated to appetizers. Since 2015, the BTIA San Pedro Chapter has been working to represent the island’s tourism stakeholders at the national level. For more information about the BTIA and how to become a San Pedro chapter member, please visit the San Pedro Tourism Information Center on Almond Street or go to www.btia.org.

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