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Nov 27, 2014

Cruise Ships Cancel Calls on Belize on Thanksgiving Day! Bad Weather to Blame

For a second consecutive day, cruise ships calling to port on Belize have cancelled their visits due to inclement weather.  The sea state since Wednesday morning remains choppy, as we are experiencing heavy northerlies.  This morning, tour operators at Fort Street Tourism Village had already prepared for the day ahead when they were notified that three vessels scheduled to dock at the English Caye harbor would be moving on to other destinations.  That’s a total of five ships within a twenty-four hour span, a loss of revenue in the millions that is being felt across the sector.  Veteran tour operator Tom Greenwood, despite the financial setback, has found a silver lining in the dark clouds that have been looming overhead.  Today, the president of FECTAB, distributed food items at the Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly.

 

Tom Greenwood, President, FECTAB

Tom Greenwood

“I shed a tear for the tour guides, for the, how would I call them, lower echelon people within the industry, our hair braiders, our food suppliers, those people who have the little cycles for rent, the horse and buggy people.  The people at the sites and that would be Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Nohoch Che’en, Caves Branch, as it is called, the Belize Zoo, the Community Baboon Sanctuary, Altun Ha, Lamanai.  Thousands of people have been impacted by the weather.  Of course it’s an act of God, we can’t say anything about that.  But then I’ve always said that it will take an act of God or a revolution to change things and fortunately we must always think in terms of an act God.  What this has done is to show us that twelve thousand people could have come ashore yesterday and today if we had had a docking facility which of course is woefully lacking.  The Mexicans are well ahead of us with their docking facilities.  The Hondurans and Guatemalans are well ahead of us.  We are on track there but there’s been a glitch, a terrible glitch for the one docking facility that we believe can and should happen which is Stake Bank.  So, we need to get past that glitch.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“You’re here today at the Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly.  I understand that you, as a result of the cancellation, have had to distribute some of the food items that ordinarily would have gone to your guests, your visitors, to the elderly.”

 

Tom Greenwood

“Well, they say, waste not want not and we are not going to allow anything to go to waste so the sacrifices, let’s take the food to the people who need it.  So we brought some food here and there are other distribution points as well.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What else can you share with us with regards to the impact of these cancellations and if there is any possibility that it may be the same thing tomorrow or whenever we have weather such as this?”

 

Tom Greenwood

“Yes.  Well, you know God dictates and men must follow.  It would be horrific if it continues and as we know there have been strange weather patterns that have hit the planet over the past few years.  The Maya would call it the result of planetary precession, that’s part of our history of the Maya.  We believe that it could be totally disastrous if this should continue.  Think in terms not just of tour guides not working and this one and that one not selling this or selling that.  Think in terms of the money that has been borrowed by a lot of people.”

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