Belize Tourism Board Initiates Landmark Projects to Boost Twin Town’s Tourism Appeal

Belize City, Belize, February 26, 2024:  The Belize Tourism Board broke ground today in San Ignacio and Santa Elena to commence two projects aimed at unlocking the tourism potential of the twin towns. In partnership with Cayo North East Area Representative and Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management, Hon. Orlando Habet, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the commencement of the El Cayo Boardwalk in San Ignacio Town. This was followed by the groundbreaking for the Santa Elena River Park in Santa Elena Town, being carried out in partnership with Cayo Central Area Representative, Hon. Alex Balona. Both projects reflect the increasing need for accessible and enjoyable recreational spaces in the twin town communities. Furthermore, the Cayo District has emerged as a prominent and captivating tourism destination for overnight and cruise visitors. This investment in infrastructure aligns with the overarching goal of bolstering the region’s appeal to visitors, thereby contributing to economic growth and sustainability in Belize’s tourism sector.

The El Cayo Boardwalk Project will offer a vibrant space for local and international visitors as it will combine the natural beauty of the Macal River with cultural experiences, culinary delights, and entrepreneurial opportunities. The construction of the boardwalk will prioritize resilience, with elevated walkways and flood-resistant materials to ensure accessibility and safety during occasional river flooding. The boardwalk will offer a picturesque 1000-foot riverside walkway along the Macal River adorned with gazebos and benches and will serve as a focal point for festivities and annual events. 

The Santa Elena River Park aims to provide a family-friendly tourism attraction and recreational facility. The first phase of the project will include the construction of seating areas and an elevated stage, among other features. Upon completion, the River Park will serve as a hub for Belizeans to display their arts and crafts, sell local food, and provide entertainment, including river tours.  

Speakers at the groundbreaking ceremonies included Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Hon. Anthony Mahler; Cayo North East Area Representative, Hon. Orlando Habet; Cayo Central Area Representative, Hon. Alex Balona; Santa Ignacio and Santa Elena Councillor, Mr. Matthew Preston Silva; Director of Industry Development for BTB, Mr. Josue Carballo; Historian, Mr. Hector Silva; El Cayo Boardwalk Project Coordinator, Mr. Anthony Morris; and Cayo Central Chairman and Project Coordinator, Mr. Horace Grant. 

In his remarks, Minister Mahler shared, “I truly look forward to the completion of both projects on both sides of the Macal River. The Cayo district is an integral part of the tourism infrastructure with various attractions and activities to experience. Therefore, these are key areas for us to invest in and enhance for our people and visitors to enjoy.”

Also present were Cayo West Area Representative, Hon. Jorge Espat; CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Mrs. Nicole Solano; Chairman of the BTB Board of Directors, Mr. Mohit Budhrani; and Director of Tourism, Mr. Evan Tillett; among others. 

Both projects are visionary endeavors that aim to not only enhance the quality of life for residents but also capitalize on the growing tourism trends in the Cayo District. With these developments, visitors will have enhanced opportunities to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and cultural richness of the area, fostering longer stays and deeper engagement with local attractions.

El Cayo Boardwalk

Santa Elena River Park

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