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Jan 25, 2011

P.U.P. says G.O.B. and B.T.B. failed to solve cruise tourism situation

Cruise tourism continues to spin out of control. Today only one Carnival line called on port; that’s the Valor, but the Dream with a capacity of three thousand nine hundred passengers did not make it to port. It gets worse for the rest of the week when the cancellations will mean that at least ten thousand visitors will not stop in Belize and a quick calculation of revenue loss based on average expenditure per tourist is in the range of eight hundred thousand dollars. Carnival Cruise Line has been playing hard ball and wants to pay five US dollars per head to be transported to shore while the tenders are charging seven US. EuroCaribe is for now carrying on the tendering of passengers, but on the ground, tender operators as well as traders are losing business. The People’s United Party today issued a press release regarding the current state of affairs in the industry in light of the cancellations. Former Product Development Manager and member of the P.U.P. executive Anthony Mahler told News Five that G.O.B. and B.T.B. have both failed in the way they chose to address the issue of tender operations in Belize.

Anthony Mahler, P.U.P. Executive

Anthony Mahler

“It has been a total debacle in the way the government has handled this situation in terms of their participation through B.T.B. As you can recall the prime minister led a delegation to Miami and came back and said they’ve saved another industry which we now know has been a total lie on behalf of the prime minister and that delegation from B.T.B. And so we in the People’s United Party say that any industry as important as the tourism industry should given priority from the government and its officials.”

Isani Cayetano

“As a former tourism official how could this situation have been brokered in a mutually beneficial way?”

Anthony Mahler

“Well to me, like I said again, the prime minister and his delegation erred in their actions. First of all, it was a totally private sector driven discussion [and] they got into the picture and went up to Miami which showed a sign of weakness going to the negotiating table that we need this cruise line, especially Carnival, and trust me when a cruise line like Carnival smells blood they’re going after the bait and so this is what is happening.  They’re playing hardball and now B.T.B. and the government have turned their backs on the local operators totally, from what I understand. In fact they are saying now that it’s a private sector driven discussion and they don’t want to be a part of it. But there is always something that the government can do I think, for example, when the P.U.P. got into office in 1998 they were a few cruise ships coming to Belize, calling on Belize and what was the reason? The head tax was at twenty dollars, the docking facility was inappropriate out at the Radisson so we reduced the head tax, we looked for a private sector partner in developing a docking facility or where the people can disembark actually, not docking facility but where they can disembark comfortably and now we have the Fort Street Tourism Village.”

The release from the opposition goes on to say, “The present uncertainty surrounding the future of the industry is a clear indication of the lack of a defined policy for the regulation of the industry for the mutual benefit of the cruise ship companies and the Belizean workers in the industry.”

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14 Responses for “P.U.P. says G.O.B. and B.T.B. failed to solve cruise tourism situation”

  1. Real vs Real says:

    I MEAN WAT ELSE DO WE EXPECT THEM TO SAY. WHEN WE GO DOWN TO THE NITTY GRITTY. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE CRUISE SHIP COMPANIES WANT A COMPANY OF THEIR CHOOSING TO DO TENDERING. (1) TECHNICALLY SPEAKING I NUH THINK DI LAW PREVENTS THEM FROM DOING DAT. ITS LIKE ME SAYING I NUH WANT CHON SAAN CHICKEN ANY MORE I WANT LI CHEE. (2) WHAT CAN GOVERNMENT REALLY DO? THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY LEVERAGE; GOB AND THE TENDER ASSOCIATION ARE PUNCHING ABOVE THEIR WEIGT BECAUSE WHO DECIDES WHETHER CRUISE SHIPS WILL STOP IN BELIZE? THE CRUISE SHIP COMPANIES. ALL GOB AND THE TENDER ASSOCIATION CAN DO IS TO TRY AND GET A BETTER DEAL. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO GET A BETTER DEAL BECAUSE LIKE I SAID; WHO DECIDES WHETHER THE SHIPS WILL COME TO BELIZE? THE CRUISE SHIP COMPANIES. THE BALANCE OF POWER IS IN THE CRUISE SHIP COMPANIES FAVOUR. IF YOU HAVE EVER NEGOTIATED YOUR SALARY YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN’T ASK FOR TOO MUCH BECAUSE THE COMPANY WHICH SHOWS AN INTEREST IN HIRING YOU CAN SIMPLY REVOKE THEIR OFFER AND LOK FOR SOME ONE ELSE. IN THE REAL WORLD YOU DO NOT ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT OR THE BEST DEAL. YOU ONLY GET THE NEXT BEST THING

  2. Concern says:

    Mr. Mahler, do you really think that this is the time to be pointing fingers or trying to find a solution to the problem we are faced with? do people really know that it is actually US $2.50 they are paying these tendering vessels to offload these ships from Carnival?. You said a mouthfull when you made the statement that Carnival smells blood and they are moving in for the kill, lets remember that 2010/2011 this tendering business was to be a thing of the past, since it was a known fact that not so many years ago some local investor was suppose to build a Hundred Million Dollar Cruise Terminal Facility, i do not need to mention any name here people. What i am simply saying is that for every action there is a reaction from the inception of this idea in April 2004 we should have known that this would not been a reality-why am i beating on this? if the so call developer had done his part and not made this into another “BIG HUSTLE” maybe we would have been in a better position to negotiate with Carnival, yes the tendering would have stop but imagine having the entire ship docking alongside and all the passengers getting off along with the crew of about 1200-1500 persons, the tenders would have been able to use their vessels to do maybe coastal tours to the other coastal districts and neighbouring cayes eg; Dangriga, Hopkins, Placencia etc.

    So Mr. Mahler before you get on the televison making all sort of irresponsible comments look at what got us here and if the so call dream of one selfish and greedy so call Port Developer would have been a reality in this life time just MAYBE this could have been averted. Isani the only way some of our local investors knows how to broker any deal is to hustle as much as they can and if the project fails some corrupt politician will bail you out, thats the motto of the corrupt and greedy.

  3. soldier says:

    Belizeans dont let the pup fool,they like the udp in belize are a mafia,a gang of criminals with a law degree.for more than 10 decade both mafias have been in and out of power,and belize keeps getting worst,tunisia and cairo are revolting against their government ,why?they are to corrupted,their country is plague with no jobs.belize is in the same situation,the only thing that will save belize is a revolution against both mafias in power.nothing else will bring them freedome,and this is the cold truth.

  4. Charles Green says:

    Not quite right. Carnival Dream came in on Tuesday as scheduled. Carnival Valor is/was due in on Thursday.

    Cancellations this week:

    Wednesday: Carniva Glory
    Thursday: Carnival Legend, Carnival Valor
    Friday: Braemar

  5. fromafar says:

    Monday morning quarter back!!!! That’s all this is. None of the parties are competent enough to manage a country!!!

    Look at the oil situation, i’m sure Barrow is pushing for drilling in protected area’s because his clan will profit nicely.

    Until we take away personal profit out of the political equation, Belize will not progress.

  6. falla says:

    All the supporters of “controlled” cruise tourism out there should be interested in the latest development i.e. the bid by a US based company to consolodate and serve all of the cruise ship tender needs in Belize Please see:

    http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/45797

    Maybe this last of many other such developments might finally help convince holdout Belizean tourist business owners that the cruise tourism business model is based on massive consolodation and control of all aspects of the tourist experience and the capture and export of every possible tourist dollar.

    Let’s look at the the record so far:
    1. Fort Street Tourist Village-closed to most Belizean bystanders and outside business vendors
    2. Chukka Tours-the proposed consolidation of all ship based Belize tour business in one foreign tour operator.
    3. Punta Placencia- see #1 above.
    4, Pride of America rumored to be negotiating tender services contacts with all of the three major cruise lines in Belize
    5, Instances of as many as 5 ships at a time landing tourists in Old Belze City and overwhelmng their resources..

    In my opinion, all Belizean tour business owners willing to believe in the possibility of maintaining control over the cruise line business and enjoying relative freedom and prosperity are themselves sailing on a “Ship of Fools!”

    Government under Barrow with Singh is in on this…Belizeans dont be fooled.

  7. falla says:

    This is Singh’s handywork!!!!!!!! His so called Tourism plan is all about consolidation by foreign entities:

    1st at the cruise village presentation in Placencia Village it’s pointed out that the land was already purchased by Royal C. sold by Cenury 21 which Singh had been the franchise owner.
    2nd Singh resigns as CEO of BTB and moves to chief executive of BELTRAIDE
    3rd Singh’s company ‘ BTALCO’ did the paperwork for the entry of the 2 catamarans well before the Belizean tenders became aware of the situation (last article below states there are 4 more simular cats that arrived a bit earlier in Big Creek!!!)

  8. Belize Tourism Pioneer says:

    The BTB and their head man Minister Heredia are not interested in Cruise Tourism because it does not benefit his kingdom Ambergris Caye.
    He does not want tourists in Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Toledo, Belize or Stan Creek Districts.
    All tourism must be in Ambergris Caye or none at all.
    REMOVE THIS MAN FROM OFFICE OR SHUFFLE HIM TO MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE.
    MAKE THE MINISTER OF A TOURISM POOR DISTRICT THE NEW MINISTER OF TOURISM SO THAT DISTRICT CAN BE DEVELOPED FOR TOURISTS.
    KEEP SHUFFLING UNTIL EVERY SQUARE INCH OF BELIZE IS DEVELOPED FOR TOURISM AND ALL BELIZEANS CAN BENIFIT AND MAKE SOME $$$$$.

  9. CEO says:

    These one day stops cause way more damage to our country than the few dollars the passengers spend in a few hours. The damage is not immediately visible but the garbage and the stress to our fragile ecosystems will become more evident when they start showing decay after some time. Not to mention the movement of drugs on and off these ships.

    I say tell the ships to go dock elswhere! We do not need them they need us. Remember there was a time when they did not come to Belize! We survived without them.

  10. Proud Belizean says:

    Politicians dem a fraud….dem no care about the people none at all…..in the words of Ras Indio…

  11. 100% Belizean says:

    One of the major problems with this situation is GREED… The major players have been living HIGH off Cruise Ship Tendering. Now it is threatened to be moved to another Major (GOB Connected) player, so PROBLEMS. Why don’t we look at where the money from Cruise Tourism really goes, very very little to the “Little Man.”

    Who’s getting hurt in all this? The “Little Man.” I keep on saying it, this is the UDP way, they have destroyed Bus Industry, they have chaos in the Citrus Industry, destroyed Water Taxi Industry, and now Cruise Tourism Industry. Trust me they have the Nationwide Tourism Industry in a HORRIBLE state…

    The UDP Way… The UDP Way…

  12. Jamison B says:

    Check this out Belize Newest Minister to be.
    http://www.facebook.com/Nayo4dbay

  13. Roger Pinto says:

    This man will solve all our problems in Belize.

    http://www.facebook.com/Nayo4dbay

  14. ang says:

    Belize no need no revolution to ovathrow no people elected govt voted in by a majority like the govt or not we put em there. Unlike Tunis and Cairo we are not into decades long dictatorships what happens with these coup d etats other corrupt govts tek over again! All countries are being marred by unemployment, poverty etc right now. Belize needs to develop a pkg tour and offer that this is our land we create the tourist pckg hello? If the shopper likes it we sell if not move on. People u should look for other industries to survive remember what happened to sugar cane industry.

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