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Jul 3, 2013

Tourism Director comments on concerns about cruise tourism

Laura Esquivel Frampton

The tourism industry is the largest shareholder in the services sector which accounts for a significant portion of the economy. The five point three percent growth is in large part to overnight stays and sustainable cruise tourism. The Belize Tourism Industry Association had a closed door session at midday where the stakeholders discussed cruise tourism, which has threatened to expand to sizes that could impact the environment as well as home grown businesses. We asked Laura Frampton, the Director of Tourism, about the numbers versus sustainable tourism after she heard the concerns at the B.T.I.A. general meeting.

 

Laura Esquivel Frampton, Director of Tourism

“On a whole, we are up this year with both cruise and overnight. The overnight figures were spectacular in the first quarter; they are still good going into the end of June. They are not in the double figures but they are still high. The cruise figures, we did have a dip for the month of May, but that was expected based on the scheduling. However, all of it is still in line with what was projected for this year.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“When it comes to the cruise industry, I know there have been couple proposed developments. Is B.T.B. supportive of those initiatives like the Norwegian Cruise Line? I know they have switched to an alternative island outside the barrier reef system itself.”

 

Laura Esquivel Frampton

“As we’ve said on many occasions before, this is a matter that is still at the cabinet level and at the government level. And so B.T.B. is not in a position to comment at this point.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“There was a master plan commissioned by the B.T.B. that speaks to sustainable tourism and numbers. B.T.B. still goes by that plan. Have you done any other such studies since?”

 

Laura Esquivel Frampton

“There is the national sustainable tourism master plan which has been endorsed by government and actually there are many inaccuracies happening. The master plan, if you read that document, does not say absolutely no other kind of cruise tourism in the south. It does not say that.” 

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