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#18618 - 10/08/04 10:24 AM Carnival contract is "Rape of patrimony"
SP Daily Offline
BTIA: Carnival contract is "Rape of patrimony

They represent more than four hundred tour guides, tour operators, and hoteliers and today, the Belize Tourism Industry Association is not happy. After taking a good look at the contract signed between the Carnival Corporation and the Government of Belize, the BTIA is seeing red. According to the organization's President, Steve Schulte, the clauses contained in the contract would lower the boom on Belize's tourism industry as we know it.

Steven Schulte, President, BTIA
“We have eight hundred million dollars invested in this industry. Our investments are continually threatened individually and collectively. As an example, look at the Carnival project, the greed of a few individuals has led them to sell our industry and our nation. They claim they will invest a hundred million in our country, but the plan only provides fro them to build their own pier, their own tourist village, their own shops, their own hotel and their own casino to compete with those businesses which are already established here. They are investing nothing in the infrastructure of our parks, our Maya sites, our marine reserves, our fisheries or even our agricultural produce. In fact the contract specifically states that they exempt from dealing with Belizean labour or contractors in the construction or operation of their business.”

“They are given the right to bring unlimited amount of passengers, but reduce the fees pays to support our protected areas from twenty percent of the head tax to one flat Belizean dollar; fifty cents U.S. They want to rape our patrimony and tell us it’s good for us.”

“Finally, they hold themselves apart from any future law or regulation we might pass to protect our country’s natural resources and our labours. The contract that Carnival has negotiated on the false promise of investing in this country, gives them every right to pillage our country and our industry while they drive out their own competition. How will the existing Tourist Village stay in business if they have to hire Belizean labour under Belizean law, while Carnival brings in the cheapest labour it can find? Why should we stand by and give them this advantage? I am aware that we have differences within our membership. We can and will work on those. We cannot afford to fight among ourselves. If your future and your family’s future is tied to Belize, you need to join BTIA today and support it with your active participation. We are in a struggle for the survival of tourism industry in this nation including sustainable cruise tourism. We have the power if we stand together.”

Schulte was speaking at the BTIA's nineteenth Annual General Meeting held this afternoon at the Princess Hotel and Casino.

#18619 - 10/08/04 12:03 PM Re: Carnival contract is "Rape of patrimony"
Katie Valk Offline
Carnivore Cruise line
Belize based travel specialist

#18620 - 10/08/04 12:38 PM Re: Carnival contract is "Rape of patrimony"
Barbara K Offline
Cap't Jeff - care to comment since your livlihood is cruise lines?

#18621 - 10/08/04 07:09 PM Re: Carnival contract is "Rape of patrimony"
silkpainter Offline
I was at that meeting yesterday. The BTIA has no problem with Royal Caribbean, its only Carnival Cruises. Carnival Cruises caters to a lower class (for lack of a better term) customer, and its management seems to reflect that same mentality. I hope that the tourism stakeholders in Belize make so much of a fuss that they get tired of the rass and go somewhere else (with their haul-yur-ass glass of beer).

I thought this quote was appropriate yesterday:
Lucy Fleming (Chaa Creek) – New BTIA President
"We are not against cruise ship tourism, we are for cruise ship tourism, it is one of our sectors but what we are totally against is the unregulated growth of this sector. We feel that Carnival is the bull in the china shop and we are frightened that this bull will ruin our merchandise and scare off our customers. We're wondering why we weren't consulted as leaders in the tourism industry. We are wondering why our minister was not consulted, nor his ministry, nor the Belize Tourism Board. So we would want some answers from government. And once we have those answers we'll be able to entertain further how we feel. But as of now, no, we are not appreciative that a contract has been signed without bringing us into play because after all we are the heart and sould of the tourism industry in this country."
-Lee Vanderwalker-Alamina

#18622 - 10/09/04 08:47 AM Re: Carnival contract is "Rape of patrimony"
Denny Shane Offline
I can appreciate Lucy's remark, however SOMEONE was consulted. Someone in the government gave his/her ok. These ships didn't just show up and unload passengers one morning. eek

#18623 - 10/09/04 11:11 AM Re: Carnival contract is "Rape of patrimony"
SP Daily Offline
"Progreso, the capital of Mexico's Yucatan state, is suddenly becoming a cruise port. The Gulf of Mexico city, founded in 1872, is a jumping off point for the Mayan town of Merida, 40 kilometres to the south. It's being used by Carnival Cruise ships this year after Carnival put a plan to build a permanent port for its ships at Xcaret, near Cancun, on hold because of local opposition."

#18624 - 10/09/04 11:11 AM Re: Carnival contract is "Rape of patrimony"
Secret Garden Placencia Offline

#18625 - 10/11/04 10:54 AM Re: Carnival contract is "Rape of patrimony"
Jack and Rose Offline
Hey Babara K, my exact sentiments as to what capt jeff thinks about this because thats how he makes a living,sending cruise people all over the carib.
I doubt if he will comment much because there once was some other bad news about the cruise industry and he somehow managed to not comment. I guess unless a subject involves something other than his buddy the fisherman who he pushes constantly he won't respond.

Silkpainter, you good folks were not consulted because you don't grease the palms of the government officals like the entire cruise industry does!!!

#18626 - 10/11/04 11:20 AM Re: Carnival contract is "Rape of patrimony"
Chris Offline
I think you're being very unfair on Capt. Jeff. His is a family owned cruise ship travel agency. He is not Carnival or Royal Caribbean or anyone else. He doesn't, and can't, make policy for them.

I actually don't blame Carnival as much as I blame the Govt of Belize.
If the Govt. of Belize had said "no" to Carnival then Carnival would have to negotiate a more reasonable deal. The Govt. didn't say "no" because the usual culprits in the cabinet obviously accepted money from Carnival to say "yes." Carnival were just adoping the usual U.S. business practice of "getting away with it if you can." Nothing wrong with that...if you can get away with it.

As an individual, Capt. Jeff is actually the ideal overnight tourist for Belize. He comes about 10 times a year for a week at a time. He actively helps the economic well-being of a San Pedro family by enjoying their guiding services to the max. AND he is now an investor in Belize.

What do YOU suggest he does, Jack and Rose and Barbara K? Write fierce letters to Carnival? Become an anti-cruise ship activist? Close his family business down and make about 60 people unemployed?

I suggest you direct your ire solely at the Usual Culprits in Belmopan.

#18627 - 10/11/04 02:37 PM Re: Carnival contract is "Rape of patrimony"
Barbara K Offline
No criticism of Cap't Jeff - just wondered if he had any comments since he deals with the cruiselines so closely. No offense intended on my part.

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