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Nov 24, 2016

Where’s The Cruise Port for Belize City, Asks FECTAB?

What’s happened to plans for a cruise port in and around Belize City? That’s the question that local operators are asking after suffering the loss of business due to Norwegian Cruise Line shifting the majority of its operations to Harvest Caye. There are two options – Stake Bank and Drowned Cayes to the north, and a project in which Government was in consultation with the Waterloo Group, said to be supported by Lord Michael Ashcroft, which would take over the plans for a harbour in the Port Loyola area originally developed by Luke Espat. At the start of 2016, Prime Minister Dean Barrow had gone on record to promise significant movement toward a cruise port in Belize City by year’s end. But then Stake Bank’s Michael Feinstein went to the sidelines because he did not get certain exclusive guarantees from Government to recover his investment, and after initial talks between Waterloo and Government the news has been silent. Today, FECTAB President Tom Greenwood urged Government and the rival developers to get going.

 

Tom Greenwood

Tom Greenwood, President, FECTAB

“I believe that government should give rebirth to the concept of a cruise port in Belize City. The Feinstein project was ready to go; it had its investment. I was told personally by the government of Belize, we don’t want to see you get hammered the way you have out here. Show us a contract with the Feinstein project that would guarantee your entry to that port. We obtained such a contract, we showed it to the government of Belize and we were go. We were go, go, go in high spirits, only to be dropped into the sea, under the bus. I say, you are going to built a port in the Yarborough area, wherever, do it now; ASAP. You’re going to give the Feinstein project a second chance, do it now—ASAP—as fast as possible. We need that in order to survive. We need Mister Feinstein to issue a release to the government of Belize, this is where we are and these are the problems…but let’s get something going. Give some heart to the people of Belize City and its environs. And remember, Belize City and cruise shipping is not just Belize City; it affects the entire country, especially west and north. You have guides coming out of Corozal and operators coming out of Corozal, Orange Walk and the Cayo districts to come to Belize City…very early in the morning. Some of these people wake up around two o’clock in the morning to catch buses and whatnot. This is a very important thing to happen.”

 

Toward the end of the question and answer session, concern was raised by some audience members about having anything to do with an Ashcroft Group-sponsored cruise port, considering his involvement with the massive Telemedia settlement, and the Federation proposes to discuss that among themselves.

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