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Dec 22, 2015

Harvest Caye Tourism Project Meets Bumps in the Road

The last we heard about the Norwegian Cruise Line’s cruise ship port at Harvest Caye in southern Belize was earlier this year when environmentalists expressed concerns that boulders were being dumped on coral beds just off the caye. This was one of the many instances over which the multimillion dollar project came under fire by conservation groups because of the negative environmental impact of the project. The Placencia Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association has taken the lead in pointing out that the National Tourism Master Plan for the peninsula calls for pocket tourism and not mass tourism. Well, despite fierce objections, since 2014 construction has been ongoing on the island for the state-of-the-art port which was scheduled to officially open on February sixteenth 2016. Today, while NCL representatives declined comment, B.T.B. Cruise Tourism and Destination Planning Director Valdemar Andrade told the media that not everything is going according to plan.

 

Valdemar Andrade

Valdemar Andrade, Dir., Cruise Tourism & Destination Planning

“At this time, from my knowledge, is that it will be delayed. I don’t know the exact timing of it. What I do know is that BIHL has informed me that they will have a press release soon to know the exact timing of what that will be.”

 

Duane Moody

“When was it scheduled to be opened?”

 

Valdemar Andrade

“It was scheduled to be officially opened on February sixteenth, but it will be delayed.”

 

Duane Moody

“Did they give you reasons as to why the delay?”

 

Valdemar Andrade

“No as yet. I do not have any details as to the reasons for the delay so as soon as we know that, we will inform you as such.”

 

Duane Moody

“Sir we understand that officials from B.T.B. as well as the government had a tour at the incomplete facilities just recently. Could you talk to us on that? How is it going? Have they been following all the regulations in place?”

 

Valdemar Andrade

“The tour that we had was to look at where it was in terms of timing, in terms of what’s on there especially. And from what we see they are following the guidelines to what we know. In terms of the environmental guidelines, you would have to ask the Department of Environment to speak with respect to those, but from our perspective it is coming along well. And we are expecting what that date will be so that the southern cruise port will be opened.”

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