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Aug 15, 2013

The Norwegian men explain why the Harvest Caye Port is needed

The ink on the Memorandum of Understanding between Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and the Government of Belize has been dry from July thirty first. Minister Godwin Hulse said that it was not a secret and the government welcomed the fifty million US dollar project. Jobs that go to the poor people of the south was the main thrust of the almost three hour press conference. Although there would be thousands of tourists aboard NCL’s ships, the MOU states that at least twenty-five percent of its passengers would attend tours. The National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan says quote “the only acceptable form of cruise tourism for the southeast coast of Belize is pocket cruise tourism.” unquote. But the MOU explained that site capacities would not be exceeded. The twelve hundred jobs on Harvest Caye may include a twenty-five percent foreign workforce, but those workers would be phased out over a five year period. The NCL representatives and Minister Godwin Hulse defended the merits of the development and explained how the Harvest Caye Port will be utilized.

 

Hugh Darley, Belize Project Director, NCL

Hugh Darley

“The destination we’re developing on Harvest allows us to create a base camp that allows most of the guests to get off the ship. If a ship for example has about four thousand guests, about thirty-five percent of those guests are going to buy a tour. Since we are already in a marine environment, about half of those, fifteen hundred or so, are going to take a marine tour from the island; which means that they get on a glass bottom. About a half of those will then go to land site. So we have reduced the number of a hundred percent of travelers coming off of a vessel like they do in Belize City having to come first by a vessel and then go out on tours. So you will have anywhere between a low of a hundred and fifty to a high of maybe five hundred people a day that will really take those vessels into a mainland base camp and then take those other tours. The thing that is unique about this is the spin though based on the way we set up the island, there are all Belizean businesses. So unlike an all inclusive resort or a private island, it is not run and operated by the line but it is actually run and operated by a community of businesses.”

 

Godwin Hulse

Godwin Hulse, Chairman, Cabinet Subcommittee

“What comes to the country is the visitor coming to spend his money. You don’t want to create a situation where you shy away people when you see that chart of what obtains in the region. Cozumel for example somebody says is three dollars. You got to be careful. You get the tourist here, he pays the dollars whether he gets off the ship or not—he pays it for docking there. Whether he comes off the ship or not, you get that.”

 

Colin Murphy, VP, Destination & Strategic Development, NCL

Colin Murphy

“It’s a significant increase in volumes to Belize which means what it results in is something like a four hundred percent increase in head tax revenue to the country. four hundred percent increase in payments to PACT to preserve and protect the environment, it diversifies dependence on Belize City. So it takes pressure off of Belize City while keeping everyone and all the operators in place. I know one of the concerns that were raised was that everyone would go from Belize City down south. I think one of our competitors have been canceling cruises because Belize City is full. In some ports the cruise spends more than the passengers; so increased passengers and cruise spend. Admission fees at some of the archeological sites which are generating almost no revenue at the moment. We are giving them opportunity to create revenues through entrance fees so they can reinvest. Increased volume for tour operators; local procurement of goods and services as much as we possibly can; opportunity for local vendors to operate concessions. And as Hugh mentioned, the improved cruise passengers experience drives land base tourism and repeat visitors. We’ve seen this again and again and again all around the world. In 2012, you had six thousand or so passengers coming to Belize and majority of them left thinking Belize City represented Belize. We think that by showing them how beautiful the south is and introducing them to that; that it is going to drive more overnight tourism and investment by these passengers and we have seen that improvement all around the world. Eighty percent of cruises use cruising as a way to sample destinations. The cruise industry, we talk about fam trips. Have you heard of fam trips? Familiarizations trips they are called where a country or a hotel or a cruise line will take a bunch of people and take them to the country or take them to the hotel or take them on the trip to see how great it is and usually these are travel agents for example and they go back and having seen how wonderful it is, they can sell it. cruise tourism is like a big familiarization trip.”

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1 Response for “The Norwegian men explain why the Harvest Caye Port is needed”

  1. stupid says:

    this fool is talking about money that pact will gain and use to protect and preserve the environment. But before we have to destroy the habitat of an island…somebody can explain me what “preserve” means?

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