Belize City, Belize
19th March, 2020

BTIA Supporting Tourism Stakeholders as a Response to Covid-19 Pandemic

The BTIA Board of Directors held a meeting on March 17, 2020, to discuss the current situation that has arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and how best to continue serving our membership during this time of crisis.

Representatives of the Social Security Board (SSB) including Mrs. Debbie Ruiz, Acting CEO, and Mrs. Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, General Manager – Corporate Customer Relations Services, met with the BTIA Board to share information and precautionary measures pertaining to COVID-19. The following key points were shared by the SSB representatives:

* SSB will cover working incapacity due to isolation/ quarantine related to COVID-19 only. A registered medical practitioner must sign the Sickness Benefit Claim form in order to be submitted to SSB.

* The employee has to be in insurable employment (be employed at the time of sickness); has to have a total of 50 paid contributions; have 5 contributions paid out 13 weeks immediately before the first day of incapacity. Any employee who works 8 hours or more for a week, is entitled to an SSB contribution.

* If an employee is laid off and then becomes ill due to COVID-19 they are not eligible to claim any benefit.

The BTIA Board encourages all stakeholders to make the necessary preparations and to implement adequate measures to assist and support staff. The BTIA Secretariat has internally implemented measures in support of its staff to continue working for our members over the next few months.

We will continue to share accurate information and official updates from the Ministry of Health and the Government of Belize through our email and social media platforms.

BTIA is part of the COVID-19 Planning Committee lead by CEO Yashin Dujon of the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation with the main objective to support the Economic Impact Monitoring related to the COVID-19 and to develop recommendations for relief and recovery of tourism stakeholders and the industry.

A survey to assess the economic impact on tourism stakeholders and the entire tourism industry will be conducted. We encourage all members and non-members to respond to the survey.

We will be making the necessary preparations to market and promote Belize as soon as the global crisis subsides.  We will be reaching out to our members at the appropriate time to support our marketing and promotion efforts.

The BTIA will maintain communication open with all members and we encourage all members to keep direct contact with our office via email. We are all in this together and please know we are here for you. The hospitality & travel industry is renowned for its collaborative spirit and is always the first industry to recover from adversity. We will led this way to recovery and we look forward to continue serving our membership. We also encourage all stakeholders and the public at large to exercise good hygiene and social distancing as requested by Ministry of Health.

For updates, please ensure to follow these pages:

Ministry of Health: https://www.facebook.com/Belizehealth/

World Health Organization: https://www.facebook.com/WHO/

Social Security: https://www.facebook.com/ssbbelize/

Contact:

Executive Director

National Secretariat

Belize Tourism Industry Association

Email: info@btia.org ; execdirector@btia.org ; membership@btia.org

Tel: 227-1144; 621-4999

www.btia.org