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Nov 17, 2014

COLA Accuses FSTV of Holding Industry Hostage

Geovannie Brackett

Earlier in the newscast, COLA president Geovannie Brackett spoke on the need for a new cruise port for Belize District.  He accuses the Fort Street Tourism Village of acting to hold the industry and the nation hostage because of their onerous deal for exclusivity as the port of entry, while belittling local operators in conjunction with the major cruise lines.

 

Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA

“FSTV through have really sidelined our local tour operators and have been particularly in cahoots in particularly bad mouthing our local tour operators. It was issues like these that those tools were suppose to protect our local tour operators. Howe can we tolerate a cruise ship to come into our waters and to tell the people on the ship, you don’t want to mess around with anybody outside of the tourism village because they are this and that. What kind of evil should we tolerate if we do not put instruments in place to stop these kinds of actions. The deal that was sign between FSTV and the former government for exclusivity after the fall of carnival port tend s to fetter in our view in this country and in our view is unconstitutional. The FSTV collect thee hundred thousand US dollars in rent per month and has made millions back from since their investment to only employ in what our research shows thirty persons. They have recouped their investment in the tens of millions from the many visitors to Belize and now they must give back. This group FSTV is holding an entire industry hostage by not coming to the table and negotiating so that the port facility can be get on board.”

 

Brackett also called on the Tourism Board to get moving on its draft legislation for the industry and an abandoned memorandum of understanding that would force the cruise ships to abide by established regulations including the size of the “head tax” they pay per passenger to enter Belize, which he says is not legislated. As for the FECTAB issue with the Health and Safety Manual, he took a tough line, saying that if it were up to COLA, it would be repealed entirely or put off for one year for consultations.

 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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