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Aug 11, 2006

Duty-free sales nosedive following new security

Story PictureThe message to airline passengers today is to get used to sticking your lipstick and lotion into checked luggage following revelations on Thursday that terrorists had planned to mix a sports drink with a gel-like substance to create an in-flight explosion. The effects of that plot have impacted Belize with long lines, intensive searches and confiscated personal items. But alongside safety concerns are economic realities as worried businesses say duty-free sales are heading for the dumpster.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
The recently imposed ban on liquids or gels on board commercial aircraft has hit sent duty free sales into a nosedive.

Charles Lewis, Lauren Duty Free Shop, P.G.I.A.
?Very slow, very bad. It was a dramatic change for us as the business.?

Reina Bodden, Employee , Duty Free Belize, P.G.I.A.
?Well we had some business in the morning. Unfortunately after the security measures were posted, we did not have any business in the evening.?

Jacqueline Godwin
?So things were really looking dread?

Reina Bodden
?It was really dread yesterday, and unfortunately today is not much different.?

Jose Villanueva, Employee, Galleon Duty Free Shop, P.G.I.A.
?Yesterday was pretty slow. People came in but they did not want to go through that security measure that was in process yesterday, going through all of that bag search and all of that. So they decided not to do their purchase of liquor or anything like that.?

On Thursday Aviation Security officials told News Five that it was unclear how long the ban would last. However to mitigate the negative effects on profit margins of airport terminal vendors, today the Transportation Security Administration of the U.S. Department Homeland Security announced an amendment to the new rules: duty free items delivered to the purchaser at the aircraft are not subject to the liquid and gel prohibition. The change has brought some relief to storeowners but as sales clerks posted the new advisories, they remain cautiously optimistic about the future.

Jose Villanueva
?Hopefully it will be getting back to normal very soon. Knowing that now we are allowed to sell back ? we got to take it back to the plane though. So hopefully it will be better now.?

Reina Bodden
?Unfortunately I do not believe it will, because people are so concerned. In Belize they can, but when they reach the states they might take it away so they just opt to not buy, save them the trouble.?

Charles Lewis
?Some people are afraid to buy because of the fact that they think when they reach over to Houston or Miami the items will be taken away, but there are one or two guys that will buy. We will make some sales throughout the day.?

Passengers are reminded that other restrictions remain in effect. No one is not allowed to take any liquids or gels in carry on luggage. Those items should be placed in other bags checked in at the ticket counter.

Passengers are being asked to arrive at the airport as long as three hours prior to take-off to allow adequate time for the additional security checks.


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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