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Apr 7, 2016

Tourism Minister Says Southern Stakeholders Must Organize

Manuel Heredia

The idea of introducing cruise tourism to southern Belize was initially met with objection from various communities, primarily from residents of Placencia, as it relates to the Harvest Caye development.  Since then there has been a shift in attitude towards the project.  More people, including small business owners, tour guides and artisans are embracing the opportunities that are coming out of the multimillion dollar venture.  According to Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia, there is a push to organize stakeholders in the south in order for them to enjoy a larger slice of the cruise tourism pie.

 

Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism

“When you are organized you can grab a bigger portion.  When you work individually it is very difficult and you find out that these particular people will start to complain that they are not getting [anything] and I believe that down south the bus owners are trying to get together so that they can get the jobs to carry the tourists to the archaeological sites and elsewhere.  But I do believe also that overall it will enhance the tourism industry over here and it will not really affect the overnight tourism as the other stakeholders believe because, like Belize City, they are spread across.  It’s the same over here, I recall when we had the argument with Placencia.  We said if Placencia doesn’t want it, it will not happen.  If Monkey River wants it, it will happen.  Whoever wants piece of the pie it will happen but we will never force anyone to go ahead with what they don’t believe in.  Today, Placencia says we embrace it, we want to be part of it.  It’s a matter of how we sell this type of product to the people around but I believe today it’s a great lift for the south.  It is a great day for the smaller people also and also the wealthy ones also because those that have the money they can move around.  But primarily I believe that we need to organize our people and BTB has been working on that, trying to organize, trying to create more tour guides.”

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1 Response for “Tourism Minister Says Southern Stakeholders Must Organize”

  1. Carole Kocian says:

    I think this is a misleading article about the attitude of the people in Southern Belize with respect to cruise line ships. Why not actually go yourself to the villages and speak personally to the people, then report their real statements? Mr. Heredia, this project has been rejected from the first mention of it in Southern Belize. I think you’ll find that more true than what you are saying.

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