According to the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the entry point at the Western Highway between Guatemala and Belize ranks as the second busiest entry point into Belize. Benque is the first town visitors reach on the Western Highway coming from Guatemala into Belize. Despite this large inflow of visitors to the region, Benque is not benefiting as visitors pass through Benque in favor of other destinations. Benque aspires to turn this around. The Mayor has taken the opportunity to enlist us to prepare a sustainable tourism master plan that not only develops Benque as a destination but contributes to the economic health of the town.
It was recognized that a key element in the development of a meaningful community based sustainable tourism action plan is a robust participation of the community stakeholders. The Mayor invited representatives of a wide cross section of the community including business owners, tour guides, taxi operators, residents, community leaders, students, representatives of the tourism industry, and the governmental agencies involved in tourism in participate in the Tourism Action Committee. A number of people accepted the Mayor's invitation and formed the Benque Tourism Committee.
The Tourism Action Plan is the result of nearly six months of dedication and hard work by the Committee. The vision of the Tourism Committee is to: "Develop Benque Viejo del Carmen as a unique and attractive tourism destination while ensuring sustainable development through responsible tourism destination that allows both visitors and the local community to benefit from the local culture and heritage while retaining the small town charm and providing convenient access to the surrounding attractions.