Sitting steps away from the Caribbean Sea, Belize City’s historic Fort George area has seen consistent traffic over the years from locals and international visitors alike. For Belizeans, the area has been a constant staple in the world of weekend hangout spots – from sitting at the seawall and indulging in curbside eats to enjoying libations and live music at Cork Street. And for tourists, especially cruise ship passengers, old Fort George has served as a constant gateway to experiencing Belize at a glance. The Fort George Tourism Zone has become synonymous with hair braiders, tour operators, and hardworking craft makers. And as of January 18th, 2024, the zone is now home to a new and improved Artisan Alley. Here, both residents and visitors can explore the handiwork of Belize’s artists and artisans.
Revitalizing Fort George’s Tourism Zone
The Belize Tourism Board and the Belize City Council have been working together to breathe new life into Belize City’s tourism zone. It’s an initiative that is part of a larger project dubbed the Sustainable Tourism Project which aims to put more emphasis on responsible tourism and community engagement.
The revitalized Fort George Artisan Alley is poised to become a major income generator for local artisans while providing an enriched experience for visitors and patrons.
New and improved, the Fort George Artisan Alley features a handful of booths, new lighting and state-of-the-art security cameras, as well as a new covering to shield the entire alley from the elements. In total, the alley can accommodate eighteen artisans.
Beyond the stalls, the area now also benefits from new bathroom facilities and an information center as well as new signage. According to a press release from the BTB, the inauguration of the new artisan alley marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to enhance the Fort George Tourism Zone.
“When we invest in projects like this, it is an investment in our people,” said Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Hon. Anthony Mahler.
At the Fort George Artisan Alley, patrons can expect to discover everything from handmade wooden sculptures to jewelry and cultural clothing.