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Jun 1, 2023

Mahler Says, In Tourism, “Hand Wash Hand”

In the tourism sector, the question of preferred treatment for passengers disembarking from cruise ships calling to port in Belize City was to put to Tourism Minister Anthony Mahler on Wednesday.  This was an allegation brought up by tour operator Yhony Rosado recently during a press conference with the media.  While Mahler told reporters that he had no knowledge of any preferential treatment, he did explain the sale of inland tours.


Anthony Mahler

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism

“If you are a cruise ship coming to Belize, the way you make money is selling the cabins to people and Belize is considered a, Belize District is considered a tour destination.  And so, the cruise lines collect from the tours and they work with the local operators here in Belize.  So if they sell it, for example, if a tour is sold for two hundred Belize dollars, maybe the cruise line gets a hundred and the tour operator gets a hundred.  That’s how it works.  So if you are disembarking and you are in a tendering port, what will you do?  You will send off the people who go on your official tours rather than the people who are independent.”



“So we can’t do anything about that?  Everything set?”


Anthony Mahler

“I have had honest discussions with the cruise lines.  I don’t play around, when I see something off, like, I explained to them the last time I spoke with them that I want to see an improved partnership.  When Bahamas and other countries were rejecting your ships during COVID, I took the heat.  I opened up Belize based on the information that we had, the policies that we had and the programs that we had and those decisions were beneficial to the Belizean people at the time when there was nothing happening and so it created some…  When we were hit by the hurricane last year and we reached out to them and no support other than maybe, Norwegian.  Soh I tell dehn if it’s a true partnership then it can’t be like that.  When you were in time of need we helped and now we are in time of need… I didn’t go hat in hand, but that’s what true partnership is, right?”

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