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Aug 2, 2013

B.T.I.A. blasts back at B.T.B./Tourism Ministry for unanswered questions

The Norwegian Cruise Line’s memorandum of understanding has been signed. Industry stakeholders, including the well established hotel sector, have not been consulted regarding the long term effects on the environment. On Thursday, the Belize Tourism Board’s Director of Tourism, Laura Esquivel Frampton and the C.E.O. for the Ministry of Tourism, Tracy Taegar Panton, dismissed the campaign against the NCL development coming from the Belize Tourism Industry Association. They called the B.T.I.A. irresponsible and misinformed. But today, the B.T.I.A. Director and the Chairman of the Placencia Chapter came out swinging again in reply to the B.T.B. and the ministry. Stewart Krohn said that for three and a half months they have been trying to get B.T.B. to explain what was happening in respect of the M.O.U.  Krohn attacked the B.T.B. and the Ministry’s talking points and challenged them on their understanding of the English language. He even compared the Government to a crack head in need of a hit.

 

Stewart Krohn, Chairman, Placencia B.T.I.A.

Stewart Krohn

“It has been said the government is behaving like a crack head government. And we say it’s a metaphor for their behavior. When I read this, I really wonder whether people in that ministry have actually been smoking crack because this is insanity. They have turned the English language on its ear. Let’s talk about this famous national sustainable tourism master plan. They put this gobbly book out there. The plan is very clear. It says pocket cruise tourism is the only acceptable form of cruise tourism on the southeast coast of Belize. I have it memorized. It is there; you can read it. What don’t Laura and Tracey understand about the word “only”? They talk about six tourism product and decentralization; they talk about two approaches to achieving sustainable growth. The fact is it’s their plan; they made it, they endorsed it, the cabinet endorsed it, we endorsed it. And now this plan says something that it doesn’t say. You don’t see in their press release any quotes from the master plan do you?  It is an interpretation; it is a most bizarre interpretation I have ever seen. And I would challenge any of them or the minister or anyone they want to put out here to sit down with us and they can show us. Let’s read the words of this plan. I think they would have been smarter, quite frankly, if they had just come clean and say look, yes the plan says that pocket cruise tourism of two hundred and fifty passenger ships is the only form that the plan suggests or demands, but guess what we found something better. We reject the plan. But don’t try and say that the plan says something the plan doesn’t say. And it is interesting because they say that the tax of seven dollars will remain the same. Does that mean it is not going to be raised? Did they make a pledge to NCL that over the twenty-five year life of this agreement that they would not raise the tax from seven dollars? That’s what it says to me. I think they have some explaining to do. They talk about expenditure of seventy-three dollars per person for every cruise passenger. Well I’ve seen studies that show as low as forty-seven dollars. But whether it is forty-seven dollars or seventy-three dollars, the fact is that the bulk of these expenditures as our own Central Bank reports, ninety percent of that expenditure goes for imported goods. So there is very little possible effect on the local economy. The Central Bank refers to it as leakage. A big part of that so called seventy-three dollars is spent at duty free shops, it is spent at Diamonds International or something like that. We never see that money. It is interested to note that NCL has requested that they have duty free facilities on Harvest Caye. This press release doesn’t say anything about that. Realize that if they have duty free privileges on harvest Caye, every dollar spent by a cruise passenger on duty free goods on the caye is a dollar that won’t be spent locally. So if government is not a crack head government, then let them show us that NCL is barred, prohibited, from having a duty free concession.”

 

The Placencia Chairman questioned the eight hundred jobs and wanted to know why NCL needs to fill twenty five percent of the jobs by foreigners. He pointed out that if the cruise port at Harvest Caye will take two years to build, then that should be adequate time to train Belizeans to fill the posts. Krohn also noted that the press release did not say whether or not Harvest Caye would be able to take non-NCL cruise ships in the future?

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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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5 Responses for “B.T.I.A. blasts back at B.T.B./Tourism Ministry for unanswered questions”

  1. GOB=criminal says:

    crack cost money, and this NCL deal is going to grease those skids.

    Just because Hezbollah and the cartels have credit arrangements with GOB, crack still is cash.

    Who cares if it pisses off everyone down south? What do they know about dealmaking?
    They just don’t understand what Belize is about.
    Making money by ANY means is honorable as long as you don’t get caught.
    Rule #2, pay under the table not to get caught.
    Rule #3 don’t get bullets or weed planted on you.
    Rule #4 don’t be a homo, they are the smoke screen.
    Rule #5 always offer the top a cut of the illegal or legal profits, or #3 is coming your way, or worse.

  2. GOB=criminal says:

    >What don’t they understand?

    What don’t you understand?
    They are crooked.
    They write what they want.
    They change it when they want.

    They got the country by the testicles, now cough… up money!!!

    you are messing with the UDP, stand down dog.
    What do you know about tourism?
    They know more about electricity and telephones than you.
    They write the rules to screw you, now take it in the A$$.

  3. GOB=criminal says:

    NCL should realize a contract that is based on illegal activities is not enforceable.

    When this piece of crap criminal government folds, the contracts will be voided.

    NCL may think they can litigate a 25 year contract created by a criminal conspiracy, but their pp is about to be cut off; AND perhaps the tables be turned and they sued for contributing to this conspiracy.

    NCL may also want to go dig up news papers, back when Coca Cola stepped into it and ruined their international reputation.

  4. Debbie Curling says:

    I think I just threw up in my mouth; the Belize government makes me sick to my stomach. In my opinion they are a bunch of greedy, hypocritical #slime balls. They could care less about our country, about our people, about our environment and they will live to regret it and so will the rest of the South. So disheartening. Such a travesty for all of us and future generations. When there is nothing left and the whole area is usurped, what then? I will leave with a quote from a very good friend of Belize who cared about our Great Barrier Reef:

    “If we go on the way we have, the fault is our greed…and if we are not willing to change, we will disappear from the face of the globe, to be replaced by the insect.” – Jacques Cousteau

  5. Laura Viola says:

    I don’t understand how they could sell out part of the country like this and flat our ignore the master plan and all of the stakeholders. This should have been put to a referendum of the people. Guess it is harbinger of things to come with the Guatemala claim. They had the chance to grab some money from NCL before they sell out them.

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