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Belize Business Bureau calls on PM to push back airport re-opening until September

Philip Goldson International Airport

Posted: Saturday, July 11, 2020. 11:16 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Business Bureau (BBB) has written to Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, asking that he and his Cabinet reconsider pushing back the re-opening of the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) from its scheduled date of August 15 to sometime after annual September celebrations.

“…maybe September 23, 2020, so as to avoid the mixture of alcohol, bashment, and carelessness,” the BBB cited as reasons for considering a change in date for the re-opening. “Belize cannot afford another lockdown nor another state of emergency. It would take our country into an economic tailspin.”

“Trump’s checks to the airline sectors to keep their workers employed ends September so the airline industry can expect huge layoffs and therefore the flights will come to a trickle when these airlines cut half of their staff and park their planes. So our efforts may only result in huge COVID cases with limited long-lasting visits from the USA,” it warned.

The BBB said Belize’s short term strategy should be similar to that of Barbados, in targeting longer stay visitors who are in the %500,000 bracket and would stay for 3-6 months or longer now that many people now work from home and online indefinitely. “This type of visitor is more educated and would cooperate in preventing the pandemic,” the BBB reasoned to the PM.

“Our longer-term strategy should be focused on how we get the UK and Spanish visitors to come to Belize, so we can begin to create an assisted market in Belize for their retired elderly now that the world is in pandemic gear,” it continued.

“Kindly be magnanimous in your judgment and give our school children a fighting chance to get adjusted to the new realities that face us, before they become exposed to a deluge of visitor borne COVID cases,” the statement said bluntly.

 

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