Formed on April 26, 1985 as a broad-based tourism umbrella organization, BTIA sought to bring together tourism related interests to meet the challenges of a dynamic and growing tourism industry in Belize.
In the early 1980’s tourism was of relatively little importance in Belize. Nonetheless, it was an evolving industry that was impacting various sectors. A group of individuals foresaw the importance of the industry and anticipated the need for a medium through which tourism concerns could be voiced. This group, lead by the late Mrs. Jean Shaw, conceived the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA). The association was incorporated under the laws of Belize in 1989 and has become one of Belize’s largest non-profit organizations, boasting some 600 members from Belize’s six districts. In 2006 the organization became registered under the Revised 2000 NGO Act, Chapter 315 of the Laws of Belize.
Today, the association has representation on almost every government, legislative, advisory, consultative and licensing committee, which in itself is proof of its continued commitment to national development. BTIA also plays an important role in the linkage of the private and public sectors. As a direct consequence of BTIA’s initiatives, in particular its advocacy efforts, tourism has become the fastest growing industry and has been pushed to the forefront of government’s priorities.