Godsman Ellis attended the Belize/Mexico sessions on tourism and reported the following:
"In the Mexico presentation the following points were raised: 1. The Costa Maya Plan is already in progress and has the following salient features:
a) It is a part of the Mundo Maya Concept in that it views Belize as an integral part of the promotion. These include the archaeology, rainforest, beaches, coastal attractions and the commercial services.2. The initiative of integrating the two states, Quintana Roo and Belize is high on the priority of the Governor of Quintana Roo. He will spare no efforts to have the Federal Government make this happen. This is viewed within the context of globalization, integration and trade liberalization.
b) The plan for infrastructure and facilities include linking X'calak with San Pedro by road, building a bridge at La Union thus linking with Blue Creek, Orange Walk, the supplying of electricity and water from X'calak to San Pedro. Discussions have already started with the Prime Minister.
c) The International Airport at Chetumal will be accommodating aircraft from the U.S. and Europe - like Cancun - with the view of serving Belize.
d) The faculty on eco-tourism studies will be transferred from the University of Quintana Roo, Chetumal, to Tulum.
In his address the Honourable Minister Fernandez revealed that negotiations are now on going with Quintana Roo for increased trade though unfortunately the imbalance of trade still remains significantly high. Other reciprocal measures need to be found. The NEED for the participation of the private sector was brought up in the discussion, as an important component of the development process. This being accepted, the question of the mechanisms and structures to make this happen was raised.
NOW WHAT DO WE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR DO ABOUT THIS INITIATIVE?
Difficulties experienced by visitors and traders at border points were brought up and it is a question that should be addressed."
Editor's Note: Godsman Ellis was president of the Belize Tourism Industry Association from June 1994 to June of 1996.