If GOB wishes to attract the Mexican people to come across to Belize through the Northern Border, not only to the Free Zone but into the country, the fee of $30 parking at the border for non-Belizeans must first be removed.
I always invite friends in Chetumal to come visit us, but they are reluctant because, first, it is too costly, and second, they get feedback that they are treated unkindly by the authorities here.
Just to enter Belize, there is a $30 parking fee, a $10 OIRSA fumigation fee, and a $12 insurance payment. That is $52.00 BZD at exchange rate of $10 pesos per BZD, which equals $520 pesos.
That is a lot of money for a visit. They would love to come and enjoy our rice ‘n beans and our BBQ chicken, ribs, lamb, etc., but it is too costly for them.
Secondly, there are checkpoints almost daily in Belize, and to be truthful, not all our officers have “nice ways” like they should. Checkpoints should be just to check that everything flows smoothly and not to see if your documents or vehicles are in order. That is only for suspicious characters or flagrant violators.
I know the Prime Minister means well, but only goodwill won’t work; you have to bring down the cost of visiting Belize by land.
When Mexico announced the new insurance cost for Belizeans to visit Mexico, the torrent of visitors slowed to a trickle. They immediately addressed the problem by suspending it. It is picking up a bit, but still is a lot less than before.
Why can’t GOB address this matter the same way?