Belize City, Belize – May 18, 2012 – On Saturday, May 12th the Destination Planning Department within the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), held its first ever Village Arts & Craft Expo at the Princess Hotel and Casino; over 100 village artisans from an astounding 38 villages countrywide attended. These local entrepreneurs and artists captivated the public’s interests with their unique creations which ranged from calabash handcrafts, to conch jewelry, handbags, clothing, crochet, carving and much more.
In her keynote address, CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Mrs. Tracy Panton revealed that, “Last year alone, Belize hosted over 250,000 overnight tourists and almost 800,000 cruise ship passengers; accounting for over 1 million potential new customers” she continued by saying, “If each of these visitors spent a minimum of $10.00 to purchase a locally made souvenir for friends and family, they could be injecting an additional $10 million dollars in new revenue directly into our local communities”. Undoubtedly, the BTB along with its partners recognize that developing this important home grown sector is highly important. “Keep dreaming, keep creating, keep producing quality Belizean art and crafts, keep molding each individual piece with love and pride,” were Panton’s parting words to the artisans who depicted the true essence of what the ‘Village Expo,’ is all about.
The Village Arts & Craft Expo was a collaborative project between BELTRAIDE, the National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO) and the BTB. Featured artisanship included crafts made of recyclable materials, agro products, fashion jewelry, clothing, paintings and sculptures among others. A variety of products were available for sale, including pepper sauces, jellies, soy sauces and juices. Entertainment included live cultural performances from the Yo Creek Masewala Dance Group, the Larubeya Boys and Mr. Peetaz Brukdong Band.
For more information contact Clive Myers, Destination Planning & Development Coordinator at the BTB at 227-2420 or via e-mail email@example.com.
About the Belize Tourism Board
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is a statutory body within the Belize Ministry of Tourism, and it is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister of Tourism. The BTB works in conjunction with members of the private sector – including the Belize Hotel Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association and Belize National Tour Operators Association – and is dedicated to building tourism in the most economically and environmentally sustainable manner. As a part of its responsibilities, the BTB promotes Belize as a premier tourism destination to both in-country and international consumers. Among its outreach to the international travel market, the BTB markets the country’s unique attractions to travelers, members of the travel trade industry and media outlets in key markets.
The BTB is also dedicated to developing and implementing tourism programs that will help strengthen and grow the Belizean tourism industry; promote good destination stewardship; and instill high quality standards for accommodations and travel experiences. For more information on the BTB and its services, visit www.travelbelize.org.
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