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Aug 15, 2013

B.T.I.A. Placencia Chairman maintains NCL is a bad deal for Belize

You’ve heard about the minimum of twenty-five percent of the passengers guaranteed to go on tours….that numerical amount continued to resound in the MOU as the government agreed to a twenty-five year concession as the only Cruise Port in Southern Belize, specifically Stann Creek and Toledo. No calls scheduled for the Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City, would be diverted. The Belize Tourism Industry Association believes the deal is still a sour one because of the division of the head tax. NCL will pay the B.T.B. a head tax of seven U.S. dollars; however, the lion’s share, four U.S. dollars, will be returned to NCL. Placencia B.T.I.A. Chairman, Stewart Krohn, had made his objections quite loudly when the draft MOU was available. Now that the actual details are available, Krohn still lashed out at the signatories on the document.

 

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

Stewart Krohn

“Why would they give any money back to NCL? If you look over the twenty-five year of the agreement and you say that the amount of passengers that are going to come and pay the head tax each year, it comes to something between five hundred thousand to a million passengers a year. At four dollars a head give back to NCL, it means that they will recover over the life of the agreement between fifty and one hundred million U.S. dollars. Now, they are only paying fifty million for the port, so they are getting back more than they actually pay for the port. It is unheard of. I don’t understand why they would do this. It has never been done to any other investor and certainly not to any hotel. I think the best they can say is that other countries in the Caribbean do it. But I’ve been all over the Caribbean, every country in the Caribbean Jose; even people who have not been to every country in the Caribbean know that no country offers what Belize has to offer to a cruise line.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“The MOU is not legally binding. So does that mean then that it can be changed assuming that the government would see it fit?”

 

Stewart Krohn

“Jose let me be honest with you, they can change the MOU all they want, but it is not about the MOU; it is about the concept of mass cruise tourism for the south. It is just a bad deal period. They can fiddle a little bit with the MOU, but it really doesn’t make much difference. It’s the whole idea; that they are taking the tourism industry, which is the engine that drives the economic trade, and turning its direction one hundred and eighty degrees from how it has been successfully operating. Why? I cannot understand why they would do that. There is no money in it for anybody.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“They say that they are bringing a thousand jobs for a third of the year and they have eight hundred more jobs on ships open to Belizeans. These are the highlights.”

 

Stewart Krohn

“I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I heard that crap about oh we are going to hire Belizeans on the cruise ships; that’s pretty pathetic. They could always had hired Belizeans on the cruise ships. If Belizeans wanted to work on cruise ships they are always free to work on cruise ships. So I guess all the people out there that want jobs, I would say go see Mister Murphy, go see Minister Godwin, go see Mister Heredia, go see Mister Contreras and get your names in there and get one of those fabulous jobs on a cruise ship. This gets to the very core of who we are and how we deal with our affairs visa vie the rest of the world. It is Jose, I hate to keep bringing back this analogy; it is a crack head deal. There is nothing in it for Placencia; there is nothing in it for the south; nothing in it for the whole country. I have to explode this myth that has been created particularly by Minister Hulse and he used a very strong word in his press conference. He talked about he poor, destitute people of the south; destitute and all he cares about—and Mike Singh makes the same argument—that they care so much for these poor, destitute people of the south. Well I have a question; if they are so concerned about the condition of all these destitute people in the south—they’ve been in office for what is it, five and a half years now. Why did they suddenly become so concerned with all these destitute people in the south? They certainly weren’t interested in them in the first four years of the term because the U.D.P. government lost every seat in the south.”

 

Seventeen cents from the head tax will be deposited in the Tourism Development Fund. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is in consultations to formulate a position on the NCL development. 

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3 Responses for “B.T.I.A. Placencia Chairman maintains NCL is a bad deal for Belize”

  1. bunintheoven says:

    Chagrin Hulse and Dyke Singh have zero credibility. They scheme night and day — and no shame — everything that comes out of their mouth is rehearsed and based on venal backroom dealing. If they only knew that they will choke at the trough of mindless avarice before they can kick back and get high contemplating all their spoils… spoils that will taint all those who thereafter lay a hand on them.

  2. David P says:

    I agree with Stuart. It is a crack head deal. Is that what we have become? Crack head people? I tell you, they come with there nonsense about trying to help the poor destitute people of the south when all they really care about is helping themselves. We have poor destitute people in Belize City too and cruise ships have been coming here since the late nineties and we still have poor destitute people living in Belize City. Sadly, as it is in politics the majority will win and unfortunately as we have seen over the course of this nation’s life, the majority rarely get it right. A few soldiers for justice will stand up and fight but they are outnumbered by the silent majority.

  3. Belizean says:

    This gentleman Mr Krohn, I believe, has other issues that are buggin him. He hates to see that there will be a wide scope of development, and no longer the tight circled money floating about him. This is about sharing, upping international interests, inviting foreign investment, and attracting tourists!!! NCL and the GOB has answered and clarified every issue he is battering at, and he is still battering at the very same issues he knows the answer to. 1 man alone against this development looks like he doesnt share the view of the rest of Belize

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