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May 31, 2013

FECTAB comes out blazing against $100 million tourism project on Crawl Caye

There is also an update on the one hundred million dollar tourism project for Crawl Caye which is within the World Heritage Site. The Prime Minister on Thursday said that Placencia Tour Guides Association and a majority of residents in Placencia are in favor of the Crawl Caye Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship proposal. Warren Garbutt, President of the Placencia Tour Guide Association, is however asserting that only one statement had been made regarding the cruise line and Crawl Caye. And that letter was written in 2010. At the time, forty-three of forty-eight Placencia Tour Guide members voted yes to cruise ships in the area, but that yes vote came with nine conditions. The first condition was that there would be no privately owned cruise village, and no ships with excess of five hundred passengers would come to the area and only one ship per day with the maximum passage of three times per week. One particular demand of the Placencia group is the use of local tour guides and that the tour sites for cruise ships should not be in protected areas. Today, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB) joined the Belize Tourism Industry Association and Healthy Reef in its outrage against the project. News Five spoke to FECTAB president Tom Greenwood about his organization’s concerns.

 

Tom Greenwood, President, FECTAB

“We hold to the concept that cruise shipping is now in the north of the country. We have seen the negatives of cruise tourism and they are not good at all. We hold to the concept that cruise shipping should be kept out of the south for several reasons. The vast majority of the people of the south especially Placencia do not want cruise shipping. We hear voices being touted as pro cruise shipping for the south. Small number of voices, the mass majority of the guides of this country do not want cruise shipping to be taken away from the Belize District. The environmental impact alone is going to be catastrophic if we start messing around area such like Crawl Caye and the like. The dredging that will take place and then there is something that people don’t realize and we see the examples for example in Alaska when a fence was put up and thousands of Alaskans were cut out of cruise shipping and the economy. We see other islands in the Caribbean that have been purchased by cruise lines as self-contained entities and this is exactly what is going to happen in the south. The people in the south have no idea that this is exactly what needs to happen. It will be a self-contained thing; you will not be able to go on that island. The cruise line that is doing it is going to draw maximum financial value from it by creating a complete enclosure.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“What about the investments that members of your association have made into their livelihood in Belize City where cruise shipping is their daily lives?

 

Tom Greenwood

“”Well I’m glad you asked that because you have on the record, the horrible effect of interference and tendering which the prime minister himself got involved. We have something like seventeenth large; we have tendors to defend and suggests. We have had constant endless problems with cruise like with us countless  problems when and causes a lot of loss in the north.”

 

APAMO today also opposed the mega tourism project saying that the proposal should not even be considered because it involves the UNESCO World Heritage Site

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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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7 Responses for “FECTAB comes out blazing against $100 million tourism project on Crawl Caye”

  1. Placencia Resident says:

    The media (Channels 5 and 7, and the Amandala) have reported that Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Senator Godwin Hulse have asserted that Placencia Tour Guides and a majority of people in Placencia are in favor of the Crawl Caye Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship proposal.

    As confirmed by Warren Garbutt (per Lisa Carnes), President of the Placencia Tour Guide Association (PTGA), following is the ONLY public statement ever made by the PTGA with respect to cruise ship tourism.

    This PTGA statement obviously does not refer to the mass cruise tourism planned for Crawl Caye – no ships of over 500 passengers AND NO SHIPS IN PROTECTED AREAS were deemed acceptable to the Placencia Peninsula tour guides.

    Also, the “petition” to which the Prime Minster and Godwin Hulse refer to as proving that the majority of people in Placencia are in favor of cruise tourism is available at https://www.facebook.com/download/382493745193394/OICDL%20Summary%20Proposal.pdf and was circulated in November 2011 – well over a year ago – and well before the Crawl Caye proposal was made.

    This petition was signed as a “yes” by 242 people. However, if you take a look at the “petition,” you will see that it is very difficult to determine exactly what people were saying “yes” to – and since Placencia Village now has a population of approx. 1200 people, it can hardly be said that this petition (whatever it means) is an indication that the “majority” of people in Placencia support cruise ship tourism – and especially not of the kind proposed by NCL – again, no ships larger than 500 passengers and NO SHIPS IN PROTECTED AREA.

    (The signature page from the petition can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/download/257649441041938/Signature%20Petition%20%28POP%29%20%283%29.pdf.)

    Here is the guides’ statement – taken straight from the “petition:”

    “The Placencia Tour Guide Association wrote a letter to the BTB and the consultant dated November 3rd, 2010 where they reported that 43 of the 48 members of the PTGA that voted on the issue said YES to cruise ships under the following conditions:

    [Note: to clarify, this was 43 of the 48 members still remaining at the meeting by the time the vote took place. The Placencia Tour Guide Association has over 100 members.]

    i. No privately owned cruise village (no village within a village)

    ii. No ships bigger than 500 passengers.

    iii. One ship per day for no more than three times per week.

    iv. Use only local tour operators and guides of Southern Belize, (no monopolies).

    v. Designate tour sites for cruise ships (not in protected areas).

    vi. Properly monitor the impacts on village and tour sites.

    vii. Have limits on boats and buses used to conduct tours (no boats bigger than 48’and no buses bigger than 20 passengers).

    viii. Agree on price tours.

    ix. Ensure proper provision for garbage disposal and adhere to regulations regarding overboard discharge.”

  2. Maverick says:

    Now those are some confusing statements from Major Tom. He is saying how horrible the cruise lines are for Belize, yet his livelihood is dependent on it. Him and countless other Belizean entrepreneurs (Yony Rosado, David Gegg, Tom and Yvette Wilson, Martha Williams, Mr Jenkins with is Horse and Buggy rides, countless independent tour guides at the FSTV, small vendors, splash wave tours, Tino Castillo, Independent tender operators, etc. etc. ) all exist because of the cruise industry. I do not see that kind of local ownership in the overnight sector, where are the Belizean hoteliers save for a few like Black Orchid, or San Ignacio Hotel. I find it hypocritical that Tom can propose to be speaking for the country when the locals in Placencia who are not members of FECTAB, because they do not have cruise business, are saying otherwise. Clearly Tom is protecting his turf in Belize City, and does not want to share the wealth with the operators in the South. Any sensible person looking at the trend in Cruise will note the the demand is growing. The schedule for Belize city for next year shows a huge jump in ship requests; if we try to cram any more in the Belize District, how will we be able to fit them? Dont be selfish Tom, think about your Belizeans first, stop towing the line of the expat dominated Placencia BTIA for your own turf protection. You are a patriot of Belize; be Major Tom and not Uncle Tom.

  3. Maverick says:

    Now those are some confusing statements from Major Tom. He is saying how horrible the cruise lines are for Belize, yet his livelihood is dependent on it. Him and countless other Belizean entrepreneurs (Yony Rosado, David Gegg, Tom and Yvette Wilson, Martha Williams, Mr Jenkins with is Horse and Buggy rides, countless independent tour guides at the FSTV, small vendors, splash wave tours, Tino Castillo, Independent tender operators, etc. etc. ) all exist because of the cruise industry. I do not see that kind of local ownership in the overnight sector, where are the Belizean hoteliers save for a few like Black Orchid, or San Ignacio Hotel. I find it hypocritical that Tom can propose to be speaking for the country when the locals in Placencia who are not members of FECTAB, because they do not have cruise business, are saying otherwise. Clearly Tom is protecting his turf in Belize City, and does not want to share the wealth with the operators in the South. Any sensible person looking at the trend in Cruise will note the the demand is growing. The schedule for Belize city for next year shows a huge jump in ship requests; if we try to cram any more in the Belize District, how will we be able to fit them? Dont be selfish Tom, think about your Belizeans first, stop towing the line of the expat dominated Placencia BTIA for your own turf protection. You are a patriot of Belize; be Major Tom and not Uncle Tom.

  4. Eye in the Sky says:

    Life’s a btich in Belize. One you are making money someone or something will try to bring you down.
    That is why anyone with the possibility of getting out should do so as soon as possible.
    Belize is not the land of opportunity. It is the land of corruption, victimization, poverty and crime.

  5. Bear says:

    I think the public needs to see the MOU, and all of the correspondence and emails that led up to it. There’s something very rotten in this business.

  6. Louisville,Ky says:

    There should not be any Port built on Crawl Caye to accommodate any Cruise ship, period. End of that story.
    Crawl Caye is in a protected area and putting such a facility there would place tremendous strain on the already fragile eco-system. In fact, to even start by building a terminal would be detrimental to the environment. Then sooner, rather than later, the very things that are attractive to the Tourist will no longer be there.
    No one in their right mind should be against development but, it must be sustainable. Otherwise, the Jewel will loose it’s luster.

  7. alley cat says:

    Thank you Maverick.

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