Island Routes Too Big for FECTAB
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) has gained a sterling reputation for never being afraid to fight – whether with the Government, or Belize Tourism Board, or especial enemy Chukka Tours which it has accused of everything short of homicide. But there is news of a major Caribbean cruise investor coming to Belize within the year.
The Caribbean Journal reports that Island Routes, a sister company to such big tourism names as Sandals Resorts and Beaches Family Resorts, is according to general manager David Shields planning to open operations here as well as in St.Kitts-Nevis and Dominica, having already established bases in the Eastern Caribbean and Dominican Republic. It means deep pockets and direct competition for the smaller operators working allied with FECTAB.
But the organization has nothing to say – at least, not publicly, according to executive member Yohnny Rosado.
In a candid telephone interview today Rosado said that the organization’s executive had decided to cancel a scheduled press conference to be held this week and not schedule any more for the time being as they believe themselves to be targets for the Government and tourism powers. Rosado told us,
“This is not our fight any more, this is the Government’s fight…we will move away.”
He added that FECTAB’s previous public activism has only led to harassment for its members and himself especially, as he is reportedly the target of investigations by a number of Government departments including, reportedly, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
So, the usually vocal Rosado, who was last seen in tears at a December press conference, says he and compatriots Tom Greenwood and David Almendarez among others are staying quiet, waiting to see what the Government would do about protecting the smaller operators. He did describe the Island Routes news as “a major hurricane that would sweep away the smaller operators” if it is allowed to go through with its plans.