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Nov 24, 2016

“Ghost Town” Memorial Park Will Hurt Business Further, Says Cruise Operators

David Almendarez

We reported two weeks ago that there are plans afoot to move Belize City tour operators from the heart of operations within the Fort Street Tourism Village out to Memorial Park. The long-established park was given a facelift as part of the first section of the Sustainable Tourism Program, but the Belize Tourism Board and Belize City Council have been having major problems trying to find full-time occupants of the stalls set around the park and surrounding area and ensuring that it is used for times other than special events. Regardless, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize and its members say they are not going there without a fight.

 

David Almendarez, Tour Operator

“There’s another rumor that we are going to be transferred – apparently, what dehn di do down South they want to do in Belize City – and rumors is to put us in that Alcatraz that they built, that they call Memorial Park. And the records go to show, the last time they had that meeting I told them that was Ghost Town, and now they wahn put we dah Ghost Town – they will have meetings next week to get all the operators, we will move all of you to Ghost Town. And I di tell Mister Longsworth – cause dah you send di letter – fix up. Cause we no fraid fu you neda. No wake no dog weh di sleep. No raise no lion weh no di bite yu, because you noh wah the whole lion wake up and everything bruk up.”

 

Tom Greenwood

Tom Greenwood, President, FECTAB

“We have to stop the nonsense, man. I’ll give you a tidbit: I got up at the consultation conference, a week and a half ago out here at the Memorial Park. And basically, CitCo and B.T.B. have come up with a spectacular idea for promoting Belize City and all that. But in the middle of that is something that just simply should not happen: the business of moving buses and vans and everything, up I think Cork Street – that I think Radisson Hotel is on, is that Cork Street here? The street that Radisson Hotel is on – and then turning at Goldson Avenue, Goldson Street, whatever it is, this is the side street beside Radisson. You can’t turn a bus there, so I said, ‘No, That’s impossible; let’s not do that. Then, the cruise industry has caused enough damage to the overnight industry; let’s not cause anymore. Let’s do things properly.’ Five days later, four special constables from CitCo showed up with a warrant for me, because I owe them two hundred ninety-five dollars. Man, that is childish! That da pikni works, we can’t do [those] things! And I was in high spirits. Ain’t nobody in this country, is going to put a manacle on this little brown duck. That noh wah happen again! It happened to me once, I spent ten days in a jail, and my life was threatened.”

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