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Aug 24, 2010

Do you support the introduction of cruise tourism in the Placencia peninsula?

The cruise tourism industry is facing a turbulent time and from the look of things there is more turmoil on the horizon. It recently became known that cruise tourism is contemplated for the south, one of the fastest growing areas in tourism. The Placencia Peninsula is known for the best beaches in the mainland and laid back environment where visitors are left impressed with the hospitality and warmth of the local residents. It is pristine and unspoiled so far, but all that can change. So tonight we ask the question: Do you support the introduction of cruise tourism in the Placencia peninsula?   Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your comments to questions@channel5belize.com.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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100 Responses for “Do you support the introduction of cruise tourism in the Placencia peninsula?”

  1. Leona C: says:

    NO NO NO!!!!!

  2. glen capeling says:

    I SAY NO. MY FRIENDS SAY THISWOULD INFLUENCE THEIR DECISION TO RETURN. I SUGGEST YOU THINK THIS OVER FIRST.

  3. Leona C: says:

    NO WAY!!!

  4. Peggy says:

    I SAY NO NO NO NO NO to the cruise ships…

  5. Common Sense says:

    Not sure what the point is of this discussion…..possibly a “done deal” signed already with the required under table payments made in full.

    Or am I just jaded by Belize “business as usual”?

    Or is this a story to distract our attentions from something bigger? Cruise lines docking in Placencia? Must be a joke.

  6. Manford says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, I no authority when it come to the tourist business but as one who have travelled and still travel and observed, I word to the wise for those of you that want to stop time and progress. Tour ship is fast begining to be the name of the game in the industry, for many reason, mainly a restless generation and tourist can enjoy the best of two worlds, They have fantastic time on board the ship and at the same time they see a little bit of various countries in two weeks. The most fantastic tour ship was launched lest that one year ago and the owner is already scheduling another one that will be able to go through the Panama canal after its completed. What isen’t growing is dying,and some day someone with the cash and the interest will turn up the heat to change Placencia like it or not because that’s the way life is.

  7. Charles Leslie Jr. says:

    To anonymous above and to reiterate and add on to Lindsay Howard; many governments in the Caribbean region still do not perceive tourism as an export industry and consequently the tax burden on tourism tends to be higher than on other export sectors. Because increasingly the sun, sand and beach tourism is becoming more price elastic the high tax burden results in reduced tourism revenues. In contrast cruise tourism is lightly taxed; thus the cruise ship tourism industry is taking advantage of this fact and coming in as the knight in shinning armor.

    In general cruise lines and the FCCA have been aggressively opposing user charges and tax issues. For example, a World Bank study reported that during the implementation of the OECS Solid Waste Management Project, cruise lines warned the individual OECS governments that any island that would impose waste disposal charges would lose cruise tourism because the cruise lines would merely substitute call at ports by more accommodating ports.

    Some people say, “But, we can try and control or we can control”: Here is where we are at right now when it comes to controlling these ships polluting our very delicate waters – Belize signed onto the MARPOL convention which is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. It is a combination of two treaties adopted in 1973 and 1978 respectively and updated by amendments through the years. Apparently annex 1 – 5 all apply to Belize.

    Right now Belize should provide sewage pump out stations so that sewage is not dumped at sea; as of right now cruise ships dump their waste just off the coast of Belize; it is an amazing site to see the streak of muck that flows from the ship when you fly over. TO DATE NO pump out stations exist anywhere in Belize. So sailing vessels and cruise ships dump at sea. It is also interesting note that none of these ships have ever been penalized for this; this just goes to show you that NO ONE is looking; thus there is NO control.

    Pollution alone is the among the top three reasons I will never vote for cruise ship tourism to come to my village; some people ANONYMOUS; hold a lot more things precious than money; things such as a healthy environment to pass on to our kids.

    Cruise ship tourism is considered a Fallacy Of Development – We, as a country, are spending a significant amount of money on shore-side revenue plans based on tourist arrivals due to the cruise industry. Realistic figures show, however, that the bulk of the tourist expenditures depends on air travelers or stop over visitors. Yet we are spending considerable money to attract and accommodate more and larger cruise ships.

    It is also significant to note that employment for native people from the cruise industry is minimal, while the rate of people entering the work force is increasing. Therefore, formal employment figures are not positively enhanced by the cruise industry.

    Of course Economic growth for Belize, at present, rests on the continued success of the tourism industry. However, Masstourism can irreparably damage our country and effectively destroying the very social and environmental features that makes us attractive.

    We are already famous all over the world for Eco-Tourism so we should exploit this highly-touted eco-tourism industry which presents real opportunities to exploit a comparative advantage; attract much-needed foreign investment and spur entrepreneurial development.

    Eco-development, where ecological management and development are considered as mutual goals, is simply a more sensible approach and can provide revenue for preservation and conservation projects.

    Some people say; that because they don’t live in the South that they can’t vote Yes or No on this issue; do you think that tourism of any sorts does not affect your life and livelihood? Well it does and cruise tourism have found another pot of gold and they will simply take all the gold; lick the pot clean and leave Belize starring at an empty pot, scratching its head and wondering what the hell just happened. Placencia is not a foreign country my friend; it is a part of Belize and every part of Belize makes a whole and every part of Belize that is affected will eventually affect every other body; just like a broken arm will affect the entire human body in its ability to function properly.

    Do a little research people educate yourself; we have nothing to gain from cruise ship tourism but destroying our natural assets; potentially destroying our over night tourism and only a key handful of people will make the real money while the cruise companies store the billions made in offshore accounts and brag about it at the next board meeting.

    Remember this: There is no reset button.

    http://www.imo.org/conventions/contents.asp?doc_id=678&topic_id=258

    http://www.imo.org/Conventions/contents.asp?topic_id=258&doc_id=681

  8. Elizabeth Gibbon says:

    No! Day tripping, cruise tourism would spoil Placencia and it’s surrounding beauty and not bring sustainable employment to it’s people.

  9. Boyarde Messenger says:

    I strongly say NO NO NO. This article sums it up perfectly:
    http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=10230

  10. Hardtoget says:

    The best thing about the Peninsula is how difficult it is for visitors to get to. The area needs to be preserved as it is. I’m all for supporting the local businesses – but cruise ships will only take away from the value proposition that Placencia currently offers. I vote ‘NO’ to cruise ships on the peninsula.

  11. Carol Key says:

    In the late 1980′s and the early 1990′s the government of Belize promoted eco-tourism in contrast to mass tourism. The tourism literature abounds on curise/mass tourism’s negative affects on the local population, the environment and short term gains that mass tourism brings. I once had a dream that Belize might be a leader in the tourism industry by preserving the god given resources it inherited and tourists from all over the world might pay more to see beautiful waters laced with abundant coral reefs and forests thick with green growth alongside all the beauty of the many different species of birds and animals. Mass tourism benefits only a few which thwarts long term development goals and more importantly Belizeans. So with this stated absolutely NO..

  12. Carol Key says:

    In the late 1980′s and early 1990′s the goverment of Belize promoted eco-tourism in contrast to mass tourim. The tourism literature is abundant with the negative affects mass/cruise tourism brings to the local population, the enviroment and the short terms gains that mass tourism brings. So with this stated absolutely NO.

  13. Amandala Reader says:

    To Anonymous:

    I’d rather take my “lesson in economics” from Stewart Krohn. Perhaps you should give his letter a read (http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=10230) and come back to the forum with your thoughts:

    ECONOMICS:

    “The three companies that control the bulk of the world’s cruise trade are huge. Carnival Corporation alone generated gross revenues of over 13 BILLION US dollars in 2009…and this was at the height of the global economic meltdown. Compare this to the total revenue of the Belize Government during the same period of around 360 MILLION and you get some idea of the disparity of strength when these two parties sit across from each other at the negotiating table. A single cruise company is nearly forty times as large as our entire government!

    What, one wonders, is the balance of power when Carnival sits down with a single Belizean tour operator? To use an analogy that many Belizeans can relate to, it’s like the relationship between the man driving an Escalade and the crack head who wants to wash his car…and just to be clear: we’re not the guy in the Escalade.

    By the way, in case you are wondering, for all its global operations in 2009 Carnival paid a total of only US$16 million in income tax on profits of $1.7 billion. This is roughly the same amount of business tax paid by our own BTL, a company around two hundred times smaller than Carnival. It should be obvious that the cruise companies did not get where they are by being stupid. Their guiding principal is the same as that followed by the meatpacking industry.

    When asked to list the parts of the pig his company made use of, the slaughterhouse manager replied “everything but the oink”. So too the cruise lines seek to squeeze every last cent out of their passengers leaving little or nothing to go to “waste.”

    Having calculated exactly how much the average passenger will spend on any given cruise both on and off the ship, it is the aim of the cruise company to make sure that as large a portion as possible of that total spent winds up in the corporate pocket. If a passenger books a cave tubing tour for a hundred dollars the cruise line keeps fifty as a “booking fee”. That leaves the local tour operator with only fifty to run the tour and make a little profit.

    And while trying to scratch a few cents out of that fifty after paying guides, bus, food and administration, our hard pressed tour operator needs to keep pushing down his own costs because next year his desperate competitor may offer to do the tours for forty-five. For most local businesses, getting involved with cruise tourism is a lot like stepping into the Princess casino: for every winner there are a hundred losers.”

  14. Jason Feldman says:

    NO!

  15. Jolie Pollard says:

    A resounding NO!!!

  16. Cindy Stanfield says:

    NO to cruise ships in Placencia. Keep southern Belize pristine and lovely. Do not turn it into another Cancun. Cruise ships will not help your economy as the cruise lines will build little cruise towns complete with Carlos ‘n’ Charley’s, Margaritaville, diamond and perfume shops, etc. just like the little cruise towns in every single port in the Caribbean and Mexico. The cruisies will shop at these shops thinking they are buying local Belizian goods, when actually they are simply buying cruise line goods.
    Cruise business in Placencia will be the end of southern Belize as we know it.

  17. Tyadia says:

    Cruise tourism is just downright TACKY. Nuff said.

  18. Tyadia says:

    To Common Sense: The point of this discussion is to build awareness of the feelings toward this move in the village. As you can tell, they are mostly ill feelings.

    These discussions are getting the word out. In fact, the international blogosphere has already picked up on the debate. These informal polls play a big role in the growing protest. Check out this article: http://www.realestatechannel.com/international-markets/vacation-leisure-real-estate/real-estate-news-placencia-tourism-village-belize-tourism-industry-association-belize-tourism-trends-royal-caribbean-cruise-lines-brass-3045.php

    If this is in fact a “done deal”, then our government will certainly go into the history books as one stubborn, arrogant group who did not listen to their people.

    I suppose we can hope that this has crossed their minds and will move them somehow to stop this madara$$ assuming that there is some integrity left in their souls.

  19. Tyadia says:

    And assuming that we are a functioning DEMOCRACY.

  20. brandy says:

    I vote NO!! Please don’t ruin a great place!

  21. Kevin Callan says:

    NO to cruise ships in Placencia. It is a very bad idea. It would ruin one of the most beautiful places in the world.

  22. Wayne Warnica says:

    NO! Please, Please NO!

  23. Seleem says:

    When it comes to the environment I go all out, I say NO and if I would have the time to write it a million times I would. Somebody needs to get knock on their head to even think this nonsense.

  24. Jennilee Wade says:

    a big NO, NO, NO, NO, NO

  25. Hannah Cowell says:

    please read BTIA report at wwwplacenciabreezeonline.com

  26. Howard Cohen says:

    NO. Cruise ships and there passengers will destroy the environment by their numbers and toxic wastes not to mention the Placencia ambiance. Please maintain the cruise ship docking to Belize city.

  27. Debra Isaac says:

    NO. Cruise ships in Placencia would be a disaster.

  28. Common Sense says:

    Tyadia – Thank you, you still have faith in the system, keep that faith and do not become jaded as I.

  29. Tyadia says:

    Oh Common Sense, I do hope I’m not just another quixotic youth ready to have my bubble burst and be thrown into your jaded kingdom along with the other cynics.

    Government Officials: Listen up. The youths of Belize believe that we live in a democracy and that the people do have a voice in their wellbeing. Do not fail us! Mike Singh, this responsibility appears to be in your hands!
    Do not go down in your political career as someone who neglected the wishes of the people!

    And everyone: Mr. Singh has “promised public hearings to vet any proposal.” BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THOSE PUBLIC HEARINGS. BE SURE TO SHOW A STRONG ATTENDANCE! Don’t let those hearings sneak up on you. They really do mean a lot! This will be his proof that the decisions were made in a democratic fashion and if you guys don’t show up, you’ll be screwed!

  30. josie says:

    just another american company wanting to take another piece of the jewel and pretty soon we will have absolutely no say, it already seems to be that way as the ministers never listen to its people. We continue to put foreigners and $$$$ ahead of our own citizens. I have never come across a country that does that to their people. NO MORE CRUISE SHIPS AND NO TO EVEN THINKING TO SEND THEM SOUTH

  31. Mr. B says:

    NO WAY! Keep Cruise ships out of Placencia!

  32. wil maheia says:

    Do not support cruise tourism on the Peninsula!!! It makes no environmental sense and if it does not make environmental sense is sure does not make economic sense and if it does not make economic sense then it does not make social sense and if it does not make social sense then its nonsense!!!

  33. Elsie says:

    I certainly DO NOT support cruise tourism on the peninsula! Our fragile ecosystem has been challenged enough with all the dredging in the lagoon including the supposed “inexpensive” lots that were supposed to be available to the average Placencia family. So many mangroves have been destroyed – at the same time Shrimp farms have been allowed to expand and pump effluent into the water. None of this makes sense. It would be a horror beyond contemplation if cruise ships were also allowed. Our precious natural habitats aside, there would be little economic benefit to the people of Belize. Why create more jobs for the thousands of foreign workers allowed in the country who always seem to drift into the mainstream? As usual, Belize politicians are merely interested is self-agrandisement and personal gain, not intelligent consideration for the good of the country or Belizeans.

  34. Lola's Art says:

    NO!!! Cruise tourism is not for the little people…

  35. Jane says:

    A resounding NO!! Reminds me of an old Joni Mitchell song “…don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, pave paradise, put up a parking lot…” It seems like there is a lot to be lost by doing this.

  36. Gail says:

    A lot has already been written, but let me comment with a resounding NO! How would you like a cruise ship to pull up to your neighborhood to drop off a few hundred people who would clog your sidewalks, peer in the windows of your home, walk through your yards, and so on. We all live here to get away from the superficial lifestyle so many others call normal. How are others granted the right to turn our homes and lifestyle into something for voyeuristic tourists to gawk at? We reject the values that says do anything for a buck. This is a human rights violation and an environmental nightmare. Ugh!

  37. Karen Kotansky says:

    No thanks. There doesn’t seem to be enough benefits to outweigh the negatives….spoiling a beautiful village, waste in the ocean, traffic on roads that can’t accomodate it etc, etc etc.

  38. Renee says:

    NO! NO! NO!
    Cruise ships will not help Placencia flourish and it will have grave consequences for the Belize coast!

  39. Sherri says:

    Please, NO! Why ruin something that’s wonderful, now?

  40. THERESE YOUNG says:

    no!

  41. Mercedes Perez says:

    NO NO !!!! Please do not ruin Placencia

  42. Armando says:

    NO Keep cruise ships out of Placencia

  43. Maria says:

    Keep cruuise ships out of Placencia

  44. Lizzy says:

    NO. It would be a disaster to the environment.

  45. Donna says:

    Absolutely no. As a resident of Placencia I have seen what the development after Iris has done to the peninsula and it isn’t good. the mangroves are being destroyed, there is little land left for development by the people who were born here. There is no infrastructure for the amount of people a crusie ship would bring. The passengers won’t eat in the restaurants because food is free on board, they might buy a few souveniers but won’t be contributing to the local economy. Where will the cruise ships discharge their sewage? There is no place on the penisula and I doubt the govt. will require them to build a sewage disposal system. The people who actually live on the penisula should have the final say as to whether they want the cruise ships, not the govt.

  46. Ginny says:

    Small companies like Barefoot Cruises or Moorings can benefit both customers and locals, but I can’t see how the monster ships have a place in the cozy, laid back atmosphere of the Placenica Peninsula. The infrastructure required to support them is huge, and while the status quo is probably not a viable solution for Placencia, the big cruise ship model is not the right alternative. As a frequent visitor to Plancencia, I welcome growth, but not a complete transformation of this beautiful area into an impersonal strip of duty free shops and cattle-drive tours.

  47. Walter Dean says:

    Why is it that we rarely hear anything from the GOB on this issue, nor do any of them attach their names to the list of supporters.

    I suspect history may record this event the same way they have recorded the loss of the Mahogany forestry, the give away of offshore oil exploration rights on our reefs, and the tolerance of foreign fishing vessels in Belizian waters. Is this apathy on the part of the elected representatives, self interests of people close to the opportunity, or total ignorance of the havoc which will be wreaked by events such as these?

    A group with real influence and muscle is needed to get the message through before it is too late!

  48. Elaine says:

    I’d say NO! I have some experience with cruise ships operating in Hawaii and Alaska. You may think it will bring more jobs and money to the local economy, but that could be fleeting, if at all. The cruise ship lines work very hard to encourage their passengers to spend their money with them and controlling where they go and how they get there. They’ll be organizing tours that may or may not involve locals and will work hard to keep sales of gift items, etc. aboard ship. Their goal is to make sure their passengers spend money with them and not “in town.” No matter what they promise, their first concern is making money for themselves and they will never lose sight of that.

  49. Donna says:

    ABSOLUTELY NO WAY!

  50. Jacob says:

    g the above and majority voted no against, Now People really have analyze them self and see where this take them,whether or not it will benefit then, what causes it will make, how will Belize be affected. Placencia is very Beautiful, However we need to voice our opinions, and let not the GOB nor the BTB decides but we the people, because the people knows best whats good for them and just like i know whats best for me.
    I am against that by the way i say NO, when have you heard BTB or GOB decides for the People? They decide for themselves and for their own Benefits, However the people can decide what the GOB or what the BTB must do. simply because we have more power, voice, and action than the BTB or the GOB, Unity is strength and majority of voiced opinion can be heard miles away.

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