UDP seels clarification on Belize’s mandated travel health insurance

UDP requested more information and clarification from the Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Affairs on the proposed required Belize Travel Health Insurance

Belize: The United Democratic Party requests more information and clarification from the Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Affairs and the Belize Tourism Board on the proposed required Belize Travel Health Insurance for tourists to Belize.

While requiring visitors to acquire travel insurance as a condition of entrance is hardly a novel idea in these pandemic times, the idea of requiring travellers to purchase a specific policy from a recognised insurance provider is cause for serious concern. This mandatory travel insurance system, which costs US $18.00 per person as described, amounts to yet another levy on tourists to Belize.

Travelers having existing insurance coverage should be able to show proof upon arrival; alternatively, they should be allowed to “opt in” for travel insurance or sign a liability waiver. Furthermore, if travel insurance is optional, hotels can be inventive in creating packages that give them a competitive edge when it comes to Belize tourism. With visitor arrivals at the PGIA down by roughly 60% in the first 11 months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, taxing visitors indiscriminately and raising the costs of travel to Belize in a highly competitive environment may do more harm than good in our national economic recovery efforts. All policies and procedures should be designed to encourage travel and boost visitor numbers while also preserving the best possible circumstances for the safety of locals and visitors. We should avoid enacting mandatory measures that will discourage people from visiting Belize unless it is absolutely required.

The United Democratic Party also requests full disclosure of the procurement guidelines used to select the insurance provider for this proposed, mandatory Belize Travel Health Insurance Policy, as well as the pertinent details on the contract arrangements that have been finalised to facilitate this initiative, in accordance with the Government’s stated commitment to transparency and accountability.

Scott Johnson

Published by
Scott Johnson

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