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New Artisan Alley inaugurated in Tourist Village

HeadlineNew Artisan Alley inaugurated in Tourist Village

Photo: Ribbon cutting at inauguration of Artisan Alley

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Fri. Jan. 19, 2024

The renovated Artisan Alley was inaugurated on Thursday, January 18 — adding an attractive new feature to the Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV) in downtown Belize City, where newly arrived cruise tourists are able to shop, eat, or arrange tours.

This addition to the FSTV was a project of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Belize City Council, as part of the broader Sustainable Tourism Program Initiative, and was supported by the Inter-American Development Bank.

“It is our hope that the new investment will generate interest from both locals and visitors to experience the creativity of our people,” remarked Evan Tillett, Director of Tourism, at the BTB at the ceremony.

The area will provide a more accommodating space for 18 Belizean artisans and craftspersons, and it’s also expected to enhance the commercial experience for international tourists interested in viewing Belizean art and culture.

The renovation process, which was necessary to prepare the space for the Artisan Alley, initially began in March 2023, when previous structures were demolished to make way for a new, collaboratively designed space.

“I have to say the transformation is incredible, because I remember this alley. I don’t want to call it garbage, but that’s what it really was. A lot of persons left their stuff here. So, it’s good to see that the area has been transformed, that there are some very good spaces for everybody to sell their wares,” said Fort George area representative, Hon. Henry Charles Usher.

The project involved expanding existing booth spaces and constructing a roof system to provide shelter, along with the addition of bathroom facilities and an information center. These improvements aim to make the area more attractive, practical, and secure.

Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations, highlighted the area’s importance for Belize’s tourism.

“This area is a crucial area for the tourism product here in Belize District and Belize City specifically. And we have a lot more good ideas to come in terms of beautification. We want to showcase our history in terms of using art and craft and all of these things,” he said.

“… We are confident that it will become a hub where our guests can experience and purchase some of the finest productions that our country has to offer,” added the Mayor of Belize City, His Worship, Bernard Wagner.

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