By Aaron Humes: AMBERGRIS CAYE, Belize District – What does hospitality done differently look like?
The answer to that question is the hope of the investors in Mahogany Bay Village and their newly-announced giant partners, the Hilton Worldwide Group.
The Hilton is to put its stamp on the still under construction luxury resort, making it a part of its Curio Collection – unique properties showcasing the best of their host nation.
As the name implies, the resort in South Ambergris pays tribute to Belize’s logging industry and the hardiness of its people.
Now 52 million possible visitors will get the Belize experience – and Hilton Managing director of Development for Central America and the Caribbean, Juan Corvinos, assures that Belize is still near the top of the tourism heap.
Beth Clifford, president of Mahogany Bay Village Management Limited, pointed out that the resort also hosts a few businesses, offering one-stop experience for the visitor. All of the workers save two are Belizeans and the all-wooden property was constructed through Belizean craft and vendorship.
Offering Government’s seal of approval were area representative Manuel Heredia Jr and Minister of State for Investment, Trade and Commerce Tracey Taegar-Panton, whose BELTRAIDE service was initial point of contact for the Hilton.
The Minister of Tourism explained that as part of Belize’s master plan for sustainable tourism, strategic partnerships with certain major hotel brands are being pursued – though the high-rise style seen elsewhere, he believes, does not fit in with the Belizean aesthetic.
Addressing congestion on the island, Minister Heredia said that there are construction projects opening a road on the west side of the island and a second bridge will be established for heavier vehicles.
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