Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2021. 8:01 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Newly constructed Toledo Welcome Plaza inaugurated in Punta Gorda by the Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations Anthony Mahler
The Toledo Welcome Plaza is a project under the Sustainable Tourism Program II between the Government of Belize and the Inter-American Development Bank said Minister Mahler according to the Government of Belize Press Office.
Punta Gorda is one of the emerging destinations that have benefited from investments that aim to develop and enhance the physical tourism product, said the Press Office.
“The first phase was to just enhance the areas and have a center for the Women’s Group,” said Mahler.
Minister Mahler noted that half of the building is for rent so revenues can be generated. There is also a shop.
Mahler said he expects the Plaza to become a beehive of cultural and touristic activity. He added that the Ministry will be improving the project.
Celia Mahung, the Chairlady of the Toledo Local Tourism Committee, said it’s a public space that can be used for public events. She added that Toledo residents can use the Plaza to display what Toledo has to offer to locals and tourists alike.
The Plaza has bathroom facilities and running water.
Punta Gorda Mayor Charles Selgado said the Town Council intends to encourage vendors to set up shop at the Toledo Welcome Plaza.
Florentina Chun, Secretary of the Toledo Fajina Women’s Group, said that COVID-19 pandemic severely affected their income-generating enterprises and they appreciated the new building because they will be able to sell their products there. That she said, will help them with their livelihood.
Mahler said that a good partnership between the public and private sectors is necessary. He said the Ministry of Tourism is updating the Sustainable Tourism Master Plan and each destination within the country will have their own specific upliftment programs and plans but added that the Ministry will proceed in its development in consultation with the private sector.
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