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#511706 - 02/18/16 10:56 AM GOB Pushing Port Partnership For Cruise Ships?
Marty Online   happy

What’s the cruise future for Belize City? That’s a question that we’ve been asking on this newscast for months now – and finding an answer is like aiming at a moving target. First – back in 2004 - it was the Carnival Cruise Port at the Port of Belize, and then that completely fell part, and then it was Stake Bank –which only recently fell out of contention, and, now, the new frontrunner is the old frontrunner: they’re back to the Port of Belize. Government wants a public-private partnership – reportedly with the Ashcroft Alliance – to build a docking facility there. Exploratory meetings were held last week Wednesday at the Tourism Board – and even the Prime Minister was there. So was Minister of State in the Ministry of Investment Tracy Taegar Panton – and we asked her about it:…

Hon. Tracey Taegar Panton - Minister of State, Investment Trade & Commerce

"It's clearly as the Prime Minister indicated a project that we will be looking at very seriously. We have heard over the years and you know I've served in tourism for many years prior to taking on this roll and responsibility. That the berthing facility that will allow passengers to dock and land and go immediately on tours is really what we've heard from the cruise sector. Stake Bank presented a possibility without the causeway it presents challenges and so the port is in Belize City is potentially a site we can look at. We are speaking to a couple of potential investors to examine the feasibility and viability of such a project but we're in the very preliminary stages at this point."

Courtney Weatherburne

"I guess on that preliminary stage I'm not sure if you will be able to talk with us about the meeting that was held last week at the BTB with the same proposed investors or developers, including the Ashcroft Alliance. Would you be able to comment on the outcome of that meeting?"

Hon. Tracey Taegar Panton - Minister of State, Investment Trade & Commerce

"I think the decision at that meeting, yes there was a meeting and decision at that meeting was to let’s look at the feasibility of it; particularly where it relates to the environmental concerns in terms of the dredging and that kind of thing. We believe that the Waterloo group who we met with, who works very closely with the current receiver at the port is prepared to do the preliminary assessment."

Informed observers say that the natural siltation build-up at the Port of Belize is a potential drawback for that project, but a feasibility assessment should decide if that is a determining factor.

Channel 7


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#512085 - 03/02/16 11:37 AM Re: GOB Pushing Port Partnership For Cruise Ships? [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Feasibility Study for Belize City Cruise Port is Underway

In mid-January, Prime Minister Dean Barrow went on record, during an exclusive interview with News Five, to say that he was giving serious thought to the idea of a major financial investment in a cruise terminal in Belize City.  The facility would be erected in Port Loyola, on a property adjacent to Port of Belize Limited.  That consideration succeeds a recent proposal from Ports Investment Limited, the parent company of PBL, which is the receiver of the Port.  Since then several rounds of meetings have been held, including a sit-down with representatives of Waterloo, a subsidiary of the Ashcroft Group.  While details of that meeting weren’t initially forthcoming, Minister of State Tracy Taegar-Panton whose portfolio includes Economic Development, told the media this morning that whereas plans are underway to expand the port, a study is also being conducted to determine the feasibility of a cruise terminal.

Tracy Taegar-Panton, Minister of State, Economic Development

“The Ministry of Investment did participate in a meeting with the Waterloo Group.  That meeting was held here in Belize in which the Waterloo Group which is actually the receiver for the current port facilities are looking at expanding the port facilities as it relates to containers and obviously bulk shipments from Belize.  They are also looking at the feasibility and it’s very preliminary, so I can make that clear, of potentially a cruise ship docking facility in Belize City.  The cruise lines have said to us, you know I’ve worked many years in tourism, have said to us over and over, a birthing facility that allows the passenger to go from ship to land is of critical importance to the further development of the sector.  And so, that’s one proposal we are looking at.  Certainly there are other proposals and other interests.  As those proposals continue to advance we will certainly keep the press informed.”

Reporter

“So the door has not been completely shut as we’ve heard previously, to the cruise port that is.”

Tracy Taegar-Panton

“Shut to whom?  By whom?”

Reporter

“We’ve heard the suggestion that, as of a few weeks ago, that they weren’t completely sold.”

Tracy Taegar-Panton

“I’m not sure, which port are you referring to?”

Reporter:

“I’m referring to the same initiative, the same…”

Reporter

“The Port of Belize.  Apparently Ashcroft did not see it as being a practical investment.  That was the initial report that we had gotten some weeks ago.”

Tracy Taegar-Panton

“Certainly that is not the information that I have.  I am not sure what the source of your information is, I know that we are looking at the feasibility of that project.  The Waterloo Group is just one group that is looking at the feasibility of that project and as soon as we can determine whether that project can be viable or not we will certainly keep our partners informed.”

Channel 5


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