Today, the Belizean Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations is calling on COP28 to put tourism centre stage at the summit and has announced its own ambitious initiative to update its National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan. This process was carried out by a collaboration between the University of Belize and the University of Melbourne, with the primary objective of ensuring Belize remains on a path of sustainable growth. As a result, the updated National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan has prioritized the need to plan and develop within a future that demands climate resilience and has developed an adaptation strategy for the tourism sector.
With the full review due to be released in detail in January 2024, the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan will prioritise:
Urban Settlement Improvement and Management
Coastal Conditions & Resilience
Marine, Reef and Caye Condition
National parks and Protected Areas
Cultural Attractions and Archaeological Sites
Truck Infrastructure and Connectivity
Regional Linkages and Frontier Interfaces
Tourism Governance Management
Home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site – The Belize Barrier Reef, the largest living reef in the world, Belize is focused on urging responsible tourism and sustainable development to protect and save our ocean habitats. In addition to announcing its updated sustainable tourism master plan, Belize has also been named the official host destination for the inaugural 2024 World Sustainable Travel & Hospitality Awards (WTSA), the new World Travel Awards programme to help drive Net Positive Hospitality in Travel and Tourism.
As the inaugural hosts of the 2024 World Sustainable Travel & Hospitality Awards (WTSA), Belize will provide the backdrop to the awards as a destination that holds responsible tourism at the core of its value systems, developing projects that encourage travellers to engage with the country’s rainforests, reefs, and unique culture in a truly sustainable and responsible manner.
The World Sustainable Travel & Hospitality Awards will feature more than 40 new categories. Belize and the WTA are developing a powerful network of trusted, authoritative partners, that will guide the awards programme on best practices, standards, criteria, and the actual award category list.
Nicole Solano, CEO, The Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations in Belize comments: “Responsible tourism is central to everything, with one in 10 people globally working in tourism. This is why I am urging COP28 delegates to place it centre stage if we are to protect our planet for
generations to come as we ourselves are doing with our ambitious tourism sustainability plan.”
“We are also delighted to announce the new awards from the World Travel Awards, taking place in Belize that will shine a light on the biggest players in sustainability from across the globe, showcasing the best practices and standards from the travel industry creating a space for those in the hospitality, travel and tourism industry that is creating a positive impact on our planet and people.
The WTA is the travel industry’s most prestigious awards programme, rewarding leaders in the tourism, airline, hotel, and hospitality sectors around the world. Each year, votes are cast by over 2.3 million tourism executives from 141 countries. As the host destination of the WTSA,
Belize will work very closely in collaboration as a leader in sustainable hospitality with a focus on supporting its local people, protecting the environment, and growing tourism in the region for positivity.
Justin Cooke, Executive Vice-President, World Travel Awards, says: “The World Travel Awards is honoured that Belize will be the host for the inaugural World Sustainable Travel & Hospitality Awards, with the mission of driving Net Positive Hospitality in Travel and Tourism. The new awards will acknowledge and reward those travel organisations that are raising the bar for sustainable best practices. Belize is the perfect host destination and is world-renowned for its commitment to environmental conservation.”
For further information about Belize, please visit www.travelbelize.org.
For further information about the World Sustainable Travel & Hospitality Awards, please contact [email protected]
By Justin Cooke Editor In Chief