B.T.I.A. not in support of NCL project
The issue of the Norwegian Cruise Line project on Harvest Caye is a done deal with the blessing of the government. A Memorandum of Understanding for the undertaking of the fifty million U.S. dollar cruise tourism development project was signed in August between the G.O.B. and NCL. There was fierce objection from local stakeholders in the overnight and pocket tourism sectors and that opposition went up a notch from a powerful block. Earlier today, a letter written to Prime Minister Dean Barrow by a consortium of six former presidents of the Belize Tourism Industry Association began circulating in the media. Past presidents: Jim Scott, Lucy Fleming, Paul Hunt, Rosella Zabaneh, Steve Maestre and Steve Schulte are firmly against the proposed development of Harvest Caye. The group expresses concerns that government’s decision to authorize a port of call on the island flies in the face of a long established understanding within the tourism industry and it will reduce Belize’s unique status as a prime eco-tourism destination. Erstwhile B.T.I.A. President Paul Hunt told News Five that, (Quote) “a cruise port to the south would then confirm the country of Belize as undeniably tilted toward cruise tourism, no longer appealing to the markets which cherish a unique experience, stay longer, spend more, and employ about ten thousand people nationwide. The result would be that stakeholders in overnight tourism would see the value of their investment decline.” (Unquote) The group urges the government to strongly reconsider its position on cruise tourism in southern Belize.
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