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Nov 17, 2010

Will there be a Cruise Tourism in Placencia?

Cruise ship tourism in the peninsula is meeting more opposition. The Placencia branch of the Belize Tourism Industry Association has rejected a proposal by the Belize Tourism Board and Royal Caribbean cruise line. Placencia residents and major investors on October twenty-second vehemently objected to the idea. B.T.I.A. Placencia says cruise tourism will have a negative impact on overnight tourism, which the peninsula prefers to promote and only a choice few would stand to benefit.  The B.T.I.A. also feels that further consultations are required and its Vice Chairman, David Vernon, says the two types of tourism cannot survive together.

David Vernon, Vice Chairman, Placencia BTIA

“The overnight tourists, they’re going to come into the community and they are going to eat at the local restaurant, they are going drink at the local bar, they are going to hire the local tour guide to take them out. The cruise people, they pay one price, so why come out and eat. When they come off the ship they are discouraged to eat other than within these cruise villages. So the one important thing that we need to mention here: the wholesalers of the guesthouses, the hotels and the tour operators—all these wholesalers are telling us that they will look somewhere else because the people that want to come to Placencia don’t want to come to destinations where there are cruise ship people. And so rather than helping the economy in Placencia, it will actually take away from the economy of Placencia.  As an example, if you’re selling Placencia as a destination that has beautiful beaches, it’s laidback, it’s not the Cancun and then people come here and they see this masses of people walking around—which it looks like a lot of economic benefit is happening, but not really because these people even bring the water off the boat with them.”

Meanwhile, a thirty million-dollar investment project for a new, expanded Port of Big Creek has been reportedly put on hold. That project was envisioned to cater to cruise ship tourism in the area.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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19 Responses for “Will there be a Cruise Tourism in Placencia?”

  1. Earl Grey says:




    The PEOPLE have SPOKEN!!!

    Hon. Mr. SINGH……………YOU LISTENING????????????????? back-stabber……

  2. >>Jimmy>> says:

    Listing to the way he talk, sounds like only one person said what he’s saying….. and by the way plcencia was not build for specific people, the once opposing are the selfish rich white people and the once payed by them…. see they have there customers and they are getting rich, now if the ship comes in, the POOR people will be getting the business and they will not cause they r too expensive and then thier old customer will not be coming more often cause its getting like cancun…… BRING THE SHIP IN…. AND LET THE POOR PEOPLE GET RICH TOO…..

  3. Cutty Ligiyaba says:

    Put the Port in Dangriga-they need the job-besides they can handle the congestion and

    accommodate those who are willing.

  4. BZNinCALI says:

    Many tourists buy water on shore, it is cheaper than the ones on the ship & people who travel know that most countries including ours have standards for bottling plants. Second, there are tourists who appreciate other cultures & will eat at local restaurants & will buy from street vendors, we are all looking for a bargain.

    The crowds are another issue but if it will help our economy we have to seriously look at something other than the drug trade to boost our economy.

  5. ATLBelizean says:

    I was born and have lived in Placencia for years. I think that Royal Caribbean needs to be more transparent with regard to what their plans are for the Tourism Village. Also, I am confident that only a certain group of tour guides will benefit from the tours. Also, the mere mention of Bradley Rhinehart in any part of this deal is baaaad news.

  6. Donny says:

    build the damn thing and i dont care who owns it so long as they allow di small man to mek his cheese from tour guide operating and selling handy crafts and souveniers. Just mek sure whoever owns it doesnt try to ban locals from making a living like the Tourism Village people tried to do atleast that way not only the small man in Belize City can make a living, the small man in PG can also have a piece of the pie.

  7. Mustard Stand says:

    Jimmy: are you an idiot? apparently so……….do your homework, research something,,get the think we all poor now? wait until de ships come in? I think you need togo to BC and see what those people have to say about de “cruise ships”. Both you and Donny, have not done no research…………you just spout “nonsense”. ugh, you got the computer, check things out..

  8. Wake Up says:

    Donny, Jimmy: ignorance is truly bliss, ain’t it?

  9. Knowledge says:

    Donny, before you jump up and down about all the money you THINK will be made, maybe you should do a little googling and hey watch what is happening right there in Belize City:

    Overnight Tourism: Mass cruise ship tourism will destroy the hard-won overnight tourism that the Placencia area has so carefully built over the last 20 years.

    Environment/Carrying Capacity: Tourist sites in the south are small – such as Laughing Bird, Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun and Monkey River, and some sites are already at or over capacity.

    Employment: Overnight tourism employs significantly more Belizeans than cruise ship tourism, with overnight tourism jobs that range from desk clerks and maids to managers, comptrollers, reservations agents, bookkeepers and accountants. Further, overnight tourism employees are not just from Placencia. Instead, many also come from Independence/Mango Creek, Seine Bight, Riversdale and other locations.

    Enforcement: Belize has NO ability to enforce its laws, including laws related to cruise ship tourism, such as the number of tourists per guide, laws against dumping sewage, bilge water and garbage into the Sea, and restrictions on the number of people who can visit a Mayan ruin or national park. We already can’t enforce these laws in Belize City much less in southern Belize where enforcement will be even harder than it is in Belize City (if the laws were even enforced there, which they’re not).

    Planning: In 2009, Belize borrowed US$13 million from the Inter-American Development Bank to strengthen tourism in 4 destinations, including Placencia. US$2.4 million of that loan is earmarked for master tourism plans for each destination, including Placencia.

    Local Control: Some people argue that cruise ship tourism is ok because we in Placencia can control it. But experience in other areas proves them dead wrong.

    Mass Tourism: Proponents of cruise ship tourism in southern Belize argue that boats will be small, with no more than a few hundred passengers. However, even if southern Belize cruise ship tourism were to start out that way, the national government’s track record in containing cruise ship tourism is abysmal. Belize’s 2007 Cruise Ship Tourism Policy limits the number of cruise ship tourists in Belize City to no more than 3,000 per day. However, 6,000 to 12,000 cruise ship tourists per day now routinely visit Belize City.

    Unfair Competition: Local business owners simply don’t have access to cheap capital that large foreign owned companies do. Even loans on the most favorable, preferred terms in Belize carry an interest rate of 12% – most are much higher, going as high as 28%. (And that’s from a commercial bank – Belize has no usury laws.) Therefore, as experience in Belize City has shown, tour operators will be large, well-financed foreign-owned companies, not local Placencia tour operators. Local restaurant and gift shop owners will also not be able to compete with large international chains such as Diamonds International that are often owned, operated and financed by the cruise ship companies themselves.

    Social and Cultural Disruption: As experience in Belize City demonstrates, cruise ship tourism often carries a dark underside that includes sexual exploitation and drugs with which communities such as Placencia, Monkey River, Red Bank and Blue Creek Village are simply unprepared to cope.

    Crime: Large numbers of tourists in a limited number of locations present new markets for thieves, pickpockets, hustlers and other n’er do wells. Police are provided to local communities by the national government, and resources are already stretched very, very thin – too thin to provide the increased police protection that will be needed by both cruise tourists and local residents alike. Some communities such as Red Bank, and most tourist destinations in the south, currently have no police presence at all.

    Infrastructure: As acknowledged by the Inter-American Development Bank, Placencia has “limited supporting infrastructure.”

  10. Knowledge says:

    How much they care about our poor !@$%$…

    Royal Caribbean “Returns” to its Trademarked, Private Fantasy Island of Labadee® – While Haiti Suffers
    Posted on January 17, 2010 by Jim Walker

    Following the devastation and destruction of Port of Prince, Royal Caribbean faced the potential public relations nightmare of sailing its mega cruise ships into its private resort of Labadee with Haiti – Earthquake – Poverty – Sufferingthousands of affluent Americans partying and gorging themselves while over 100,000 Haitians lay dead and decaying in the streets and millions more already impoverished Haitians face hunger and hopelessness.

    The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. reported that Royal Caribbean’s decision to go ahead with scheduled cruises into Labadee “divided passengers.” One passenger commented on the popular Cruise Critic forum that he was “sickened” by the thought of frolicking in the Haitian port while other suffered:

    “I just can’t see myself sunning on the beach, playing in the water, eating a barbecue, and enjoying a cocktail while [in Port-au-Prince] there are tens of thousands of dead people being piled up on the streets, with the survivors stunned and looking for food and water . . . It was hard enough to sit and eat a picnic lunch at Labadee before the quake, knowing how many Haitians were starving,” said another. “I can’t imagine having to choke down a burger there now.”

    Another article “Cruise Ship Docks at Private Beach in Haiti for Barbeque and Water Sports” debates the appropriateness of all of this. The comments range from pointing out the “grotesqueness” of the spectacle of thousands of partying Americans in an idyllic beach to the nonchalant attitude – “life goes on . . . and as always, life is for the living.”

    There has always been an uneasy disconnect between the opulence of a cruise ship like Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas and a country as desperately impoverished as Haiti with a poverty rate of around 80 to 85 %. Most Haitians are forced to survive on less than $2 a day. The U.S. passengers on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, on the other hand, spend more for the Labadee – Haiti – Inside the fence – isolated from povertycruise, drinks, casino chips, and excursions than most Haitians will see for decades. In addition to the Independence, Royal Caribbean’s Navigator, Freedom, Enchantment and Liberty of the Seas, as well as its subsidiary Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice, will all call on Labadee this year.

    The disparity between the haves and the have-nots will become even more pronounced as the $1,400,000,000 (billion) Oasis of the Seas, which visited Labadee in December last year, will begin arriving every other week in Labadee starting in May.

    The executives at Royal Caribbean know how to make a hard bargain with Caribbean islands which have little economic bargaining power. CEO Richard Fain cut a deal where for only $6 a passenger (paid by the passenger), Haiti turned over a 260 acre tropical waterfront paradise of Haitian sovereign land for Royal Caribbean to consider it “private property” bearing the trademarked name “Labadee®.” Yes, that’s right. This is a name that Royal Caribbean trademarked as a variation of the French slave owner Marquis de La’Badie who settled in Haiti in the 1600′s.

    Many years ago an article revealed the hypocrisy of this whole endeavor. Entitled “Fantasy Island: Royal Carribean Parcels Off a Piece of Haiti,” the article explained that Royal Caribbean began docking in Haiti in January 1986 after the ruthless dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier leased the land to Royal Caribbean. He thereafter fled to France and the country turned into chaos for the next decade.

    Cruise Ship – Party – Eat, Drink and Be MerryRoyal Caribbean’s timing was perfect.

    The article continues: “plagued by a ravaged economy, residual political unrest, and 7,000 unemployed soldiers, the Haitian government was willing to bargain . . . Royal Caribbean got dirt-cheap entry, minimal regulation, and tactful silence.” The Haitian government earns less than $30,000 a week from the Royal Caribbean cruise ships, but, as Haiti’s minister of tourism said: “we need to start somewhere.” Haiti was desperate. Royal Caribbean was Haiti’s only choice.

    Many argue that for the past many years, Royal Caribbean has not promoted or invested in Haiti. Instead, as the article explains, it “exploited an acquiescent government and dictated its own terms of entry.” Its plan was to sell U.S. customers on an imaginary paradise.

    Travel agents took the cue from Royal Caribbean and marketed the port as a “private island.” The fact that it was no island at all, but part of the mainland of Haiti, didn’t bother the travel agents or the cruise line. And it worked. Consider a cruise review a couple of years ago:

    One of the best Private Island experiences you could ever wish for! Labadee has four beaches and facilities for lots of people! Labadee is owned and operated by Royal Caribbean for the exclusive use of it’s own passengers only . . . Royal Caribbean maintains a nice lunch area on the island. Here you can graze at your heart’s content, The cuisine was hamburgers, hot dogs, Haiti – Earthquake – Disasterchicken, ribs, various salads, and deserts. No charge. It’s all included in the cost of your cruise!

    Even last week, the Miami Herald ran a headline, cluelessly referring to Royal Caribbean returning to the “island” of Labadee. But the pretense of an island is only half of the illusion. Not only did Royal Caribbean fail to promote Haiti, it didn’t even refer to Labadee as being in Haiti. Rather it referred to Labadee as part of Hispaniola (the island comprising the Dominican Republic and Haiti) to try and keep the image of Haiti’s poverty, violence, and civil unrest away from its customers.

    Labadee might as well be an island, considering that Royal Caribbean hires armed guards to patrol the 10-12 foot fences which isolate the Haitians from the cruise line’s “private island.” Royal Caribbean keeps the locals away from its passengers who are “happily ensconced on the shores of paradise” with no idea that just over the walls are shanty-towns, sweat shops, and hungry and impoverished Haitians. The money spent in the private paradise of Labadee doesn’t spread far beyond the fences. The article points out that all of the food, drinks, and even the tropical fruits and vegetables all come from Miami.

    So now after isolating itself physically, financially and figuratively from Haiti for the past 20 years, Royal Caribbean is trying to justify not disrupting its business while not seeming indifferent to a country it has been indifferent to for 20 years. It just spent big bucks ($50,000,000) building a new wharf – one of the few locations which can handle the new mega ship Oasis of the Seas – as well as the world’s longest zip line and an alpine coaster. Royal Caribbean is banking on bringing the Oasis’ 6,000 captive passengers onto that new wharf and charging them for the new zip line ($65), or wave runners ($80) or para-sailing, etc.

    In the last few days, Royal Caribbean has made a big deal talking about offloading pallets of food for Haiti. Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas sailed with only 60 cases of food and water last Friday according to the Royal Caribbean President’s “Nation of Why Not?” blog. That’s just four pallets. The blog has some photographs of the few pallets from the Independence of the Seas – four pallets of flour, tomato sauce, can goods, and water bottles. Four pallets? Considering that on a typical seven-day cruise Labadee – Haiti – Royal Caribbean “Private Destination”the cruise ship’s passengers consume over 100,000 pounds of food and 12,000 gallons of alcohol over the course of over a hundred thousand meals- the photograph of the meager provisions sitting on the dock dwarfed by the huge Independence of the Seas seems like a sick joke.

    Subsequent articles mention that other cruises have included up to 40 pallets of food, photographs of which no one has seen, but if true this still is a pittance given the enormous needs of the Haitian people and the huge capabilities of Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships.

    Supporters of the cruise line point out that Royal Caribbean also pledged to donate a million dollars to Haiti over an unspecified period of time. It talks about using the net profits collected from the passenger’s monies spent in Labadee. Whether this occurs over the course of 6 months or a year remains to be seen. Now a million dollars is a lot of money to me and probably anyone reading this article, but it is peanuts for a cruise line like Royal Caribbean.

    Royal Caribbean collects around $6,000,000,000 (billion) a year. And because it registered its business in Liberia and its cruise ships fly the foreign flags of Liberia or the Bahamas, it pays $0 in federal Income taxes. $0.

    Why only a million dollars? That will accomplish little. Even Royal Caribbean’s competitor Carnival promised to send $5 million to Haiti, and it has no relationship with Haiti. The $6 a passenger deal which Royal Caribbean struck with the leaders of Haiti rips the Haitian people off. $6 to go into a 260 acre private paradise? Well established ports in Alaska collect $50 a passenger in head taxes just to step off of the cruise ship.

    Americans are generous people. For the next two years, Haiti should receive $100 a passenger. With 6,000 passengers from the Oasis of the Seas alone coming into Labadee a week, the country could receive $600,000 a week Richard Fain – President Clinton – Adam Goldstein – Labadee – Before Disasterrather than the current pittance of $30,000. Each passenger can pay $50 and the cruise line can pay the other $50.

    If the cruise line can collect $65 for a 2 minute zip line in Labadee for fun, it can sure as hell can pay $50 a passenger to Haiti to deal with the humanitarian crisis unfolding before its eyes.

    $600,000 a week could begin accomplish something.

    But instead the cruise line is talking peanuts. And its PR people have created the illusion that the Royal Caribbean executives are in Haiti walking the streets and helping the people.

    Royal Caribbean’s website shows a a photograph of CEO Fain and President Goldstein (above) walking with President Clinton with the mountains of Haiti in the background, next to headlines:


    The photograph looks impressive; any photo shoot with a President is worth hanging on your wall. But neither Mr. Fain nor Mr. Goldstein have traveled to Haiti since the disaster. And the photograph has nothing to do with humanitarian aid. It was actually taken last year before the earthquake when President Clinton was visiting Haiti on an official visit as the United Nations special envoy.

    This U.N. trip was covered by Jason Maloney, of the Pulitzer Center, who ironically enough commented on Royal Caribbean’s historical reluctance to support or even acknowledge Haiti. The center explained that there are “political sensitivities surrounding the ownership of the resort.” It called Royal Caribbean Pulitzer Center – Labadee – Haiti – Richard Fain – President Clinton – Adam Goldstein – Before Earthquakeout on its claim that Labadee is a “private beach destination” or the company’s “private island.” It also ran a photograph (left) of CEO Fain, President Clinton, and Royal Caribbean President Goldstein (in baseball cap and shorts) when Clinton was visiting the cruise line’s “private destination.”

    It seems rather shameful for Royal Caribbean to pull out a photo which has nothing to do with the “humanitarian” crisis for its own PR purposes.

    Royal Caribbean has a net worth of $15,000,000,000. It has a (tax free) annual income almost twice greater than Haiti’s gross national product.

    So in this context – Royal Caribbean’s highly publicized pledge of a a measly one million dollars, random pallets of food and water, and a misleading photograph of the cruise line executives with an ex-President are – - – pitiful.

    Royal Caribbean is proposing nothing meaningful to address the profound problems of this impoverished and exploited country.

    To help Haiti, text HAITI and a donation of $10 will go to the Red Cross. As of this posting, Americans have donated over $19 million via texting for Haiti.

  11. negra says:

    it’s not about just building the dam thing. ,marine life needs to be taken into consideration and really if its another tourist village thing like in the city it doesn’t make sense, tourist village should be open for all to be able to enter, what they can do is what some islands do: they allow locals to buy at the tourist village , the only difference is that the locals would pay the tax that is if they don’t have a ticket that they are traveling like in the same month or so. in that way both locals and tourists enjoy the place.
    as to them spending money in the country lets face it they really don’t spend all that. most of these people have been saving money for this cruise so its not like its millionaires coming.
    i’ve been in islands where they have cruises coming and currently they are not making much business not with food bot with accommodations not even with renting bicycles scooters or cars. the boat provides the food, accommodations and some even rent the passengers bicycles.
    i think belizeans need to think if the investment makes since and i think a lot more probing into the matter needs to be done before just saying we all need a piece of that cheese.

  12. ang says:

    I believe the whole of Dangriga should decide and draft how they want to go about doing business with the cruise industry it is their district after all. There should be rules for vendors, guides in order to keep the order and so on. If the people draft the rules from rep committees this will prosper. If someone else imposes it won’t.

  13. el alcalde says:

    Ya maan…buildup, buildup , no jus the taak and taak. We need the danm jaab!!!

  14. Knowledge says:

    If Placencia, Dangriga or even Belize in a whole (we are NOT controlling it right now in Belize); if we manage to control this mega-billion-dollar industry – we will be the first in history my friends – no one else can control them but we, Belize, pulled it off – that would be unprecedented.

    I read the cruise ship policy on the BTB’s website and last year the cruise companies forced the GOB into renegotiating the amount of people they can bring from 3,500 to 8,000…even with this signed agreement they are still bringing up to 20,000 a week.

    I personally could care less about cruise tourism – BNE made almost a billion dollars off our oil already and I still d pay damn almost $10 a gallon for gas; I owe the bank money for a small business loan me and a couple friends got to develop a small tourism business and we d pay 15% on that; if we miss a payment it goes to 17%…meanwhile the same banks d operate right in our neighboring countries for around 8% to 9%…things get tight and GOB raised GST from 10% to 12.5%; when Mexico was hit by swine flu that caused a decline in visitors to their country…they proceeded to lower hotel and other taxes and did what they had to do stimulate and help their economy in the tourism sector…our GOB is doing everything in reverse…instead of stimulating they stifling Belizean owned businesses…Jamaicans the mek money in Belize…Chiney the mek money in Belize…Koreans the mek money in Belize…Indians the mek money in Belize…even the Guatemalans and Honduranians the start mek money…why? cause they can get cheap money…Belizeans tek lik in all corners in their own country…while everyone the reap the sweets of this rich honey pot.

    As for the environment – hey lets destroy that; because we already messed up 30% of the reef; we are now allowing clear cutting in the Mountain Pine Ridge; we have given concessions to oil companies that can drill all over the country and studies show that if they screw up and hit fresh water pockets; they can permanently contaminate our drinking water – the water we brag to the world about – if an oil spill happens in the water near the reef it can irreversibly damage the rest of the reef – you know the one that majority of visitors to this country come to see – the one that San Pedro’s whole economic survival is based on.

    Oh, and cruise ships don’t pay taxes – no gst, no hotel tax, no business tax, no income tax – they don’t pay this in Belize right now; so why should they start in Southern Belize; wherever they end up. Head tax is a damn joke, that’s to fool the naive into thinking they getting something.

    Oh and small ships cause even more environmental damage than large ones; the larger, newer ships have more advanced technology on board to deal with waste management – they still dump over 20,000 gallons of human dung, bilge water, gray water…why? Its cheaper my friends to dump in…even though we under MORPAL they still dump it; cause they can and GOB can’t or won’t do crap about it – this is the big ships that have the technology and still do all this environmental damage – smaller (out-dated) ships do not even have these technologies nor will the cruise companies invest to put them in – too expensive – will affect the bottom line – will piss off shareholders – don’t piss off the shareholders they need to buy their 5th million dollar home and their 150 foot yacht with helipad – nooooo don’t piss of the shareholders.

    Belizeans are NON competitive in every aspect when it comes to business in this country; so we are going at break neck speeds to continue to destroy what people come here to see – that is our rich environment – so we are telling our kids that we are prepared to kick their azz and future to the curb – tell them its their problem in 30 years to deal with the mess – leave them a version of Haiti – by that time all the foreigners (or do you think cruise ships were owned by Belizeans) will have made their money from this country and moved the hell on and left our poor stupid behind to fight over the crumbs.

    Who keep building hand over fist, grocery stores in Belize? Where do the San Pedronas live in San Pedro? Who own all the beach front properties there? Do you think it should be that way? Do you think if our GOB (no matta what P) made it possible that Belizeans get privileges over and to compete with foreigners; that all that wouldn’t be owned by Belizeans still? Or as Mike Sing insinuated: we just not good enough to own and develop our own country right? Why is it that in almost every village/town/city; not one major grocery store is owned by a Belizean? Why is it that our hospitals are always filled with aliens from across the border and we born Belizeans get stone right beside them and get treated worse sometimes?

    Our politicians have been selling out us born Belizeans for decades – how many well known Belizeans like the Novelo brothers who barrowed 30 mil from DFC and left our azzez – with that debt – there are plenty more of that, but you do your own homework, stop being children; that is why our politicians treat us as such – we are second class citizens on our own country; we can’t compete in anything anymore – and only the privilege Belizeans are rolling in their ill-gotten money that poor Belizeans are paying back the debts for them – if people really knew and paid attention to what atrocities have happen in this country; lots of these filthy Belizeans who stole our money would be hanged, drawn and quartered in public.

    Ask yourself why we all broke in the first place; then ask yourself, once again, why this time the politicians are orchestrating it so that they don’t even have to force us to sell out anymore – they structured it so that we are begging to sell out and cruise ship companies are just another one we are selling out too – they will make their money that’s for sure – if you think they give a crap about poor Belizeans you truly deserve your faiths.

    Ask yourself why in the newspaper every week you see home and business foreclosures on the dozens and yet the media is not SCREAMING on the top of their voices about this travesty – our country is folding in half – we are in full blown anarchy and chaos – our people are being taken advantage off – sold out – marginalized – youths can’t afford to buy bread but have a $3,000 hand gun – WTF – are we blind in Belize?…………………………………………………….

  15. John Edwards says:

    As a tourist, I see things in a different way. Belize City? It is a complete trash heap. Those who don’t take the excursions offered by their cruise line are dumped in your tourist village and get exposed to the town. That’s what represents the entire country of Belize. The problems there are actually hurting tourism in your country. It might as well be Haiti.

    How much a cruise ship manages to lock-in the passengers with pre-paid tours is, in-part, related to how successful people can strike out on their own, and how safe they are in the port city. Belize either needs to clean up its tourist port, or move the tourist port to a new place that doesn’t have these problems.

    Some countries are more successful than others in grabbing some of the cruise ship passengers. Some tour companies are also more successful than others… even the locals. With the Internet, it is all about reputation.

    I personally don’t care if it is Placencia or Dangriga or something else. The passengers are going to want access to a variety of different things that Belize has to offer. That means that there has to be good roads for them to quickly move people to tourist hot-spots. I’d think that Dangriga would at least offer a better starting point. And I think your argument on overnight tourism is a good one. The development of a new cruise port should add tourism value without subtracting from a different type of tourism.

    If you can get your government to help negotiate the locals a good cut, that’s absolutely great. Tourists don’t want to be locked-in with the cruise line’s excursions if there are safe choices with some of the local tours. You’re right, it has to be structured correctly from the start, or you’re just going to be used by the cruise line.

    I hear your complaints about the non-natives getting all the good business, and as a tourist, I can tell you why. These people have a leg-up when it comes to knowing what the tourist expects, and what the tourist wants.

    As an example: Do you know what a professional tour guide is? Are you sure? I had a tour guide who thought he was a professional. He even said so. Yet he was driving around in a beat up car with junk in the seats, talking trash about previous tourists, and giving his opinion on anything and everything. The guy thought he was a professional tour guide, but he wasn’t. At least he knew the places we were going.

    What is the best thing that I think that your government can do for those interested in the tourism industry? To offer free training and development services. They need to teach you what the tourists expect, what they are looking for. How to maintain and build on a reputation. It’ll work even better if you’ve got the government fighting for your place in the tourism trade, but you’ve got to fight for it.

    Best wishes, everyone.

  16. Kyani says:

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  17. justifiable says:


  18. Rita Camaeho says:

    What the author fails to mention is that the reality is that NO CORPORATION actually pays a tax, they simply add the cost of any taxation on themselves into the price of the goods and services that they sell to human beings. All taxes are only paid by human beings PERIOD.

  19. Katharyn Peragine says:

    Thanks Leigh! The top photo was taken in St. Thomas. A BBQ was in the works today. Hope Canada Day was a great celebration for you.

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