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Apr 7, 2016

NCL Stakeholders Say Harvest Caye Project Means More Jobs

The inauguration of the cruise port in Southern Belize is scheduled for November seventeenth 2016. The launch of the Norwegian Cruise Line’s project has been delayed somewhat but according to NCL will be increased employment opportunities. News Five Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Harvest Caye, the only cruise port in southern Belize, will officially be opened for business on November seventeenth, in time for the peak period of the 2016 tourist season.  Since commencing work on the island over a year ago, much has been done to realize the vision of Norwegian Cruise Line.  That concept includes a first class visitor experience for passengers disembarking from any NCL vessel.

 

Colin Murphy, V.P., Destination Development, NCL

Colin Murphy

“We chose Belize really because we felt Belize deserved a second cruise port. We went through an exercise where we thought…where would we put a flag in the ground, where would we say okay this is where we are going to be coming for years to come. Where were we willing to make a commitment? And we were one of the first cruise lines to come to Belize years ago. So we have always been a little affectionate if you like towards Belize. We feel a bit proprietary or responsible for your cruise industry in some way. So we chose Belize because Belize is the jewel and we felt that it is a wonderful passenger experience and we just felt that crating something in the south was the right direction for us. So we are very proud as I say today.”

 

With the introduction of cruise tourism to this part of the country, it is anticipated that the resulting economic stimulus will create a multiplier effect through the creation of jobs and other business opportunities.

 

Manuel Heredia

Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism

“As a government we continue forward on a clear path to achieving our goal of one point five million cruise passengers by the year 2030 as stipulated by the national sustainable tourism master plan. This particular investment will provide the empathies to continue down in every road of achieving that milestone number. But more importantly this partnership will allow us to build us upon our success in the Belize district and bring further equity toward tourism product. When Belize continue to rank at top 5 destination and what an involved and valuable shore excursion and adventure brand cruise in the south is showed to grow equitably and aligned  in the development forward in tourism in southern Belize.”

 

The cost of the overall development has gone beyond the budget that was initially set aside for Harvest Caye.  Nonetheless, NCL believes that it is money well spent, since the scope of the project takes into account environmental impact, as well as a number of other critical factors.

 

Colin Murphy

“We want to introduce people to the flora and fauna of Belize in a nice way, in an educational and fun way and that is why we are very happy to have certainly. All our boats will have propeller guards and covers and we will have boat wraps and things and of course we are not going to be mowing down manatees and of course we will be careful with everything we do because that is in our best inters of course. I think it is wrong of this particular destination. That number we planted over ten thousand new mangroves, it is double that now. We have made it a conservative effort to plant as many mangroves back as we are physically able because it is the right thing to do because a large part of the island will focus on conservation and that is what we want to hire someone who had some street cred if you like in terms of this effort.”

 

Taking care of hospitality is ProVisions Belize, a local food and beverage company headed by Dustin Bowen.  He has been contracted to create the ultimate Belizean culinary experience for guests on the island.

 

Dustin Bowen

Dustin Bowen, ProVisions Belize

“Every day we go out and we experience Belize as Belizeans, we know what to expect, these cruise passengers don’t know what to expect. We have to give them, that feel through our experiences, our culture and our food and that is what we intend to do with ProVisions Belize. For this particular project our philosophy as you can see you know we are focused on exactly what is said. Creating food and beverage, cultural stuff that when a cruise ship passenger hit any of our venues they can say, we can relate, this really does feel like Belize. It’s nothing that is going to be generic in other words.”

 

As it stands, Harvest Caye is roughly ninety percent completed and come mid-November, Norwegian will commence the routing of its fleet to southern Belize at an average of one ship per day.  That’s approximately four thousand, five hundred visitors on the island daily.

 

Colin Murphy

“You are capacity constrained today; you can’t get any more ships into Belize City. We had a town hall meeting the other day in Belize City and there was a new entrance to the market. A European cruise line who is coming to Belize for the first time is anxious to come in behind us to replace our ships. So you are capacity constrained right now. You have other cruise lines that want to come in and cannot because there is no space. So we don’t think there will be any deviation or any damage done to Belize City at all.”

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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1 Response for “NCL Stakeholders Say Harvest Caye Project Means More Jobs”

  1. Stuart says:

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