The Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations and the Belize Tourism Board donated two new vehicles to the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and the Tourism Police Unit . The Toyota Hilux pickup trucks worth $130,000 were handed over this morning in a short ceremony held in Belize City. The donation is part of BTB’s efforts to work with Belize’s law enforcement agencies to enhance citizen safety for both locals and foreigners. Tourism Minister Anthony Mahler spoke about the importance of this donation.
Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism: “We’ve always had a good relationship with the security services, whether it’s the BDF or the police department, and we’ve also had a good working relationship with the NICH and the Institute of Archeology and so we can make sure they can carry out their roles and responsibilities more efficiently, we saw the need to invest in some vehicles some more vehicles are coming, but as I said you have some supply chain issues so vehicles are coming slower than we would like but within the next two months we should have all the vehicles we should get some we should get some UTVs as they are called and we will continue to ensure that the security forces and the Institute of Archaeology, both entities, have the necessary resources to carry out their function. Security is essential for any destination. You You can see when the crime rate got out of hand in Acapulco, which used to be one of Mexico’s top destinations and has gone down dramatically over the last 10 or 15 years. You can see when this incident happened in San Pedro where the doctor was shot tourist traffic in that area was down 25, 30% from what I was advised so we first need a safe environment for Belizeans and we need a safe environment for incoming Belizeans.
Home Minister Kareem Musa explained that the donation will go a long way in increasing the mobility of the tourism police unit.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Interior: “You know, Dwayane, the tourism industry is our biggest source of income as a country. It accounts for around 40% of our GDP and so we have to preserve the value of our tourism product at all times. And our unity of tourism police is a specialist unit that is tasked with this very important task of securing tourists every time they visit our shores and so today we are extremely, extremely grateful to the Ministry of Tourism, the Minister, the Hon Anthony Mahler for this very kind donation of a vehicle for the Tourism Police Unit which will be used on the streets of Belize City for cruise ship passengers who visit our shores weekly and we expect to receive more shortly. received a donation of motorbikes and bicycles the other day and so it is continuously that we receive donations and we invest as a police service, in 20 additional vehicles, some of which will also be nt used by the TPU in the coming months. There was a call for tenders at the end of last year, but as the minister mentioned, there are supply problems for motor vehicles. All manufacturers are struggling to source vehicles but we should have five out of twenty this week.