Posted: Thursday, March 11, 2021. 8:58 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Just over a mile of the unfinished Hopkins Road – that portion between GariMaya gift shop and Beaches and Dreams Hotel in the popular tourist destination – will be paved for $850,000 by agreement between critical government ministries, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), and various private tourism businesses.
The road, when completed, it is hoped, will enhance both visitor experience and that of residents of the area, both locals and resort owners.
A memorandum of understanding between the Ministries of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Infrastructure Development and Housing and Public Utilities and Logistics along with the Board and businesses was signed by their representatives on Thursday.
Each Ministry was represented by its respective Minister – Anthony Mahler, Julius Espat, and Rodwell Ferguson, who is also area representative for Stann Creek West in which Hopkins is situated. Also present were the CEOs of the Ministries of Tourism and Infrastructure; village chairman Orlando Augustine and other members of the village council; Tourism Board chairman Evan Tillett and marketing advisor Michelle Bowers; Chief Engineer Lennox Bradley and zone engineer from the Ministry of Infrastructure, and various tourism stakeholders.
Residents named the paving as first priority for supporting tourism in the area when Mahler and Ferguson visited three weeks ago. The Ministry of Tourism hailed the efficient putting together of the initiative as an example of the kind of collaboration it seeks in rebuilding an industry battered by COVID-19 and other ailments.
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