Posted: Friday, December 18, 2020. 7:01 pm CST.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
By Charles Leslie Jr: From Placencia, a pleasant greeting to Hon. Anthony Mahler and CEO Nicole Solano.
I hope that you, and everyone at the Ministry of Tourism, are doing well.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the Belize Tourism Board and especially the Quality Assurance Team.
You all have been very helpful, very accommodating and very efficient.
I can only imagine how tough it is working from home and coordinating the processing of all TGS applications, all the questions, all the concerns.
On December 18th, the Government of Belize announced, in a virtual Press Conference, the locking down of the Orange Walk and Corozal District.
I think this is an excellent idea.
Belize should have had a zoned lock down since April 2020, instead of the disastrous nation-wide blanket lock-down.
I work with many tourism-related businesses in Placencia. And I have heard this concern pop up over and over again, thus I take this opportunity to present a proposal to the Government of Belize for the Belize tourism-industry.
EXPANDING ZONED LOCK-DOWN
ZONED LOCK-DOWN WITH DIFFERENT DESIGNATED LEVELS
Before I proceed with the recommendation:
Placencia has a low number of cases of Covid-19 compared to Orange Walk, Corozal and San Pedro.
Therefore, Placencia should not have to be at the same level of lock-down as these areas.
At the moment, many restaurant owners in Placencia are under the impression they are being penalized, indirectly.
Many are losing business because they have to adhere to the stringent blanket lock-down protocols, which is due to the high number of Covid-19 cases elsewhere.
Establishing Covid-19 Safe Zones with different designated levels
Taking these (and other) factors into consideration for each tourism destination:
● number of covid-19 cases
● increase in news cases
● number of Covid-19 recovery cases
● number of Covid-19 deaths
● number of TGS Certified Businesses
● number of TGS application in process
● [any other factors that may need to be added]
These tourism destinations should be designated a specific Covid-19 Safe Zone Level, with pre-designed protocols for each level.
I believe that this would move us away from the “punishment” methodology we are carrying forward from the UDP Administration, and move us towards incentivizing each zone to:
Becoming more compliant: more people will want to get their TGS Certification, and also follow and encourage others to become TGS certified.
Reporting: more people will become more vigilant in reporting those who are not following protocols, since these people will have a negative impact on the Covid-19 Safe Zone Level, and thus affect businesses and people’s lives.
Reward: come up with special rewards and financial aid for businesses that make extra effort in applying, promoting and developing new and innovative Covid-19 protocols and ways of doing business etc.
This could apply all across the country, especially with tourism destinations.
Let us not forget that tourism is currently the main life-blood of Belize.
Currently, it seems that if Belize City, Corozal, Orange Walk etc continue to have increased Covid-19 cases, we all pay for it by GOB applying blanket lock-downs and safety protocols.
This does not seem fair. And does not seem economically viable.
I thank you for your time. Have a safe and wonderful day.
Charles B. Leslie Jr.
Leslie Tech Digital
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