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Jan 9, 2013

Life not a carnival for operators without 28,000 visitors

Tom Greenwood

Two stops by the Carnival Legend, which carries two thousand, one hundred and twenty-four passengers, were canceled; one this week and one in December. The other eight calls being cancelled in the coming months are for the Carnival Glory; a two thousand, nine hundred and seventy-four passenger ship. If you do the math, that’s twenty-eight thousand and forty visitors who won’t make it to Belize and Greenwood lays the blame on Carnival. He says it’s time to review the agreements with the cruise ships.

 

Tom Greenwood, President, FECTAB

“The B.T.B. has been trying to accommodate but we are now seeing that we’ve got to all sit down in the industry, public and private sector, and rehash the agreement with these ships. It’s time to write a new agreement. I like the Cayman agreement; they have a spectacular system over there and we’re trying to get a copy of their agreement, which we hope to present to the Tourism Board—and I’m sure that they are capable of getting it as well—but it is time the industry sat down, private and public sector and rewrote our agreement with the cruise ships. I personally, and so does my federation, want to see more native Belizeans benefit from the ships coming to Belize. That is for sure.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“And what does this mean for us doing business with Carnival going forward?”

 

Tom Greenwood

“Well, I think the time has come for us to say look Carnival, we welcome you to Belize, we welcome you to our shores, but I’m sorry, you’re going to have to do things our way. We bear in mind that you need to make a profit, we bear in mind that you want to make your cruises to Belize ongoing, we welcome that but it’s time to do it our way. I’m sorry, I’m going to adopt an attitude here; where the cruise ships are concerned it’s our way or the highway.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“And do we have any other—apart from Legend and Glory—other Carnival ships that will continue coming in?”

 

Tom Greenwood

“Yes, we do have the Dream, we have Magic and a couple of others.”

 

While he disagrees with Carnival Cruise Line’s approach, Greenwood concedes that five ships in one day is chaotic. Meanwhile, the Belize Tourism Board says it is still dialoguing with Carnival and other cruise lines to get the calls back on schedule. According to Laura Esquivel-Frampton, the Acting Director of Tourism, the B.T.B. and the Ministry have been doing everything possible to try to alleviate Carnival’s concerns with the tender and port situation, and they are disappointed with the cancellations since other cruise lines were satisfied. And while there will be a reduction in forecasted tourism numbers, 2013 is still expected to be a successful year. It was also noted that a meeting was held with the Florida Cruise Association this morning and Carnival was the only member that did not attend.

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4 Responses for “Life not a carnival for operators without 28,000 visitors”

  1. Bear says:

    While the violence is being solved, maybe the stakeholders in the port and tour businesses could get together to solve the tender problem, instead of just talking about it and blaming everyone else. If the cruise lines see it as a problem, then it IS a problem. “The customer is always right.”

  2. Storm says:

    Tour operators, get used to it.

    Our bad reputation is spreading, and it will kill the tourist industry here when the cruise lines find other places to go that the passengers enjoy just as much. Tourism is becoming collateral damage from GOB’s policy of letting the gangs rule the streets, instead of defeating them by whatever means are necessary. If Belizeans find it hard to live here because of widespread crime and violence, why would any foreigner pay money to visit here?

    It’s in the national interest to eradicate the gangs, to make Belize too hard a target for them. We need extreme policies to destroy the gangs as quickly as possible.

  3. oscar965 says:

    @storm….this current pm is not interested in getting rid of the gangs..he meets with them and grants them special attentions which the ordinary belizeans do not enjoy. It would seem that it is ok for the pm to sacrifice the tourism industry. In this day and age with social media u cannot hide anything…it seems that the pm is old school and thinks he can hide things like it was done in the 1980′s and 1990….our entire tourism industry is in danger and our leadership has no intentions of getting rid of gangs in belize..

  4. Seletar says:

    Oscar965, he won’t be PM forever, hopefully not much longer. People Power!

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