Sustainable Tourism Program I

Project Background & Objectives   

The Sustainable Tourism Program was funded by the Government of Belize and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) through a loan of US$13.322 million and a counterpart contribution of US$1.36 million. The project was executed from May 2009 to December 2013. 

The Sustainable Tourism Program’s goal was to increase the contribution of tourism to national economic growth in a manner that is environmentally and socially responsible. Its purpose was to support the consolidation of overnight tourism in the light of its potential to optimize the sector’s contribution to the Belizean economy.  Its objectives were to: 

  1. Support the improvement, restoration and diversification of overnight destinations and their products; and 
  2. Strengthen national capacity for sector policy, destination planning and management.   
Project Components 

The Program comprised of the following two components: (i) Investments in overnight tourism destinations; and (ii) Institutional strengthening and capacity building for policy, destination planning and management. 

Infrastructural Investments 

  • Cayo Welcome Center  
  • New Welcome Center and archaeological exhibit  
  • 2.5 acres landscaped park  
  • Events stage and seating  
  • Public parking, Bus station and Taxi area  
  • Cobblestone Street  
  • Archaeological Investments:  
  • New Xunantunich Ferry  
  • New Visitor Facilities at Xunantunich  
  • New Bathroom Facilities at Cahal Pech and new Trail  
  • New Bathroom Facilities at ATM Archaeological Site  
  • Fort Point Pedestrian Walk  
  • Memorial Park- 2 acres of landscaped walkways  
  • Dedicated War Memorial space  
  • Cultural Events Stage  
  • Vending Clusters and tour queuing stations  
  • 5000Lft Cobblestone streets  
  • Placencia Municipal Pier and Plaza  
  • 275ft long Multifunctional Pier  
  • Small shoreline plaza  
  • 1.2 mile of enhanced sidewalk  
  • San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water taxi Terminal  
  • Landscaped Promenade  
  • 28 Fishermans piers  
  • Saca Chispas Football Field and public waterfront plaza  
  • International over-the-water Marine Terminal  
  • Educational Tourism Facilities at Bacalar Chico National Park & Marine Reserve 

Institutional Strengthening 

  • National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan  
  • Tourism Taxation Study  
  • Destination Branding Strategy  
  • Land Use Development Study for Ambergris Caye  
  • National Classification System for Accommodations and Tour Operators
  • Capacity Building, Needs Assessment and Matching Grants Program in Emerging Destinations