Dear fellow BTIA members,

Happy New Year!

The International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development has arrived. As such, I urge you to commit to make this year meaningful by becoming even more determined to work together to influence the path that our tourism industry will take – one that advances the contribution of tourism to ensure that our country and people benefit economically and socially, while not undermining the very natural and cultural resources and attractions that are the foundations of our tourism product. This commitment is central to what BTIA stands for. We must ensure that this commitment is fully integrated into our renewed strategic direction that I expect will be charted this year.

I am pleased to inform you that, with a deep sense of public service and humility, I have accepted our Association’s nomination to vie for the post of Senator representing the NGO community. We must thank the courageous teachers of our nation led by the Belize National Teachers Union; the business community led by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry; as well as the rest of civil society that fought for the creation of a 13th Senator seat.

The NGOs will soon have a space in the National Assembly to fight for good governance and to advocate for responsible development, and for that we express our sincere appreciation to the civil society organizations who fought tirelessly for this day to come. If I am elected next Tuesday to fill the post, I commit to exercise my non-partisan and objective nature to bring an unbiased balance to the proceedings of the Senate, and thereby make the Upper House of our National Assembly the final check and balance as it should be in our system of governance.

My main goal for the BTIA in the first half of this year will be to complete our strategic plan that will chart a reinvigorated direction for our Association. I hope to present this strategic plan to the membership at our Bi-Annual General Meeting in June 2017.

 As the sun rises on another year, I wish you good health, happiness and wisdom so that we may successfully confront all the challenges that will come our way. May you experience tremendous success in your personal and business ventures. Again, Happy New Year!


Osmany Salas