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Tourism pioneer passes away

On behalf of the Chabil Mar Family, we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr Peter Tonti who passed away on April 16, 2015. Peter was a hard working trailblazer who played an instrumental role in contributing and developing tourism in Belize.unnamed

Below is the Belize Tourism Industry Association farewell to Mr. Tonti whose work in the tourism industry of Belize will never be forgotten.

It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing on April 16, 2015, of Mr. Peter Tonti.  Mr. Tonti was the CEO of Cahal Pech Village Resort and former 2nd Vice President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA).

Mr. Tonti arrived in Belize in the late 1970’s as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  After completing his term as volunteer, Mr. Tonti remained in Belize to work in Belmopan for the Reconstruction and Development Corporation, which built and operated the new capital of Belize before it had a municipal government. He later joined the Belmopan Convention Hotel in 1983.  From those early days, Peter saw the opportunity Belize held as a thriving tourism destination. He quickly became one of the pioneers at the forefront of the development of the Belize tourism industry.

Peter’s accomplishments and contributions for over the past 30 years are countless and immense. He rendered his service to the BTIA wholeheartedly from the inception of the Association as standing member, advisor and later as a Board Member.

As a true tourism professional, Peter’s passion and dedication for the sustainable growth of the tourism industry was always at the forefront. He participated as BTIA’s representative on various national committees including the most recent, on the Inter-American Development Bank’s Civil Society Consulting Group for Belize (on which he was still serving at the time of his passing), and on the Board of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) from 2010 – 2013. In addition to his vast contributions to the tourism industry, Mr. Tonti was also the Administrator at the Lodge at Chaa Creek for 15 years before joining the team at the Cahal Pech Village Resort in San Ignacio, Cayo District.

BTIA President, Mr. Osmany Salas says, “Peter Tonti will be greatly missed. Just a few months ago, he called me several times to persuade me to offer myself to serve as BTIA President. Peter was very persuasive and inspirational. You could sense his love for Belize in everything that he did. I am happy for having had the opportunity to know him. As a pioneer of the tourism Industry in Belize, Peter’s contribution will be felt for a very long time.”

On behalf of the BTIA President, Board of Directors, Staff and Members, we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. The details of his funeral services will be announced shortly.

Mr. Peter Tonti will be greatly missed!


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