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Dec 7, 2004

Purveyors of Reef project remain mum

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Tonight Belizean investors behind a tourism project involving Belize’s barrier reef are remaining tight-lipped about their plans, claiming reports in the local media are threatening to swamp their scheme even before it hits the high seas. Being sold under the title of the Belize Barrier Reef Park, the proposal is financially backed by Belize City businessmen David Courtenay and David Gegg. While Courtenay declined official comment on the issue, News 5 understands that a press conference is being planned for sometime this week to outline the project. But this morning President of the Belize Cruiseship Industry Association, Tom Greenwood, who is also involved in the project in his private capacity, says the investors are shocked and annoyed by reports in the local press claiming that the barrier reef will be sold or leased. Greenwood maintains that the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute approached them with reports of disturbing levels of reef degradation and asked for suggestions on how to alleviate the negative impact of growing numbers of cruise tourists using the reef for recreation. According to Greenwood, the design of the park includes platforms at various points along the reef between Caye Caulker and South Water Caye and would incorporate snorkelling trails, guides and proper bathroom facilities.

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