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#73790 - 09/18/03 05:35 PM Minister: Bz. can balance cruise & o'night tourism
Marty Offline
But as the Belize Hotel
Association gets its residential
act together, they've still got an
old beef with cruise tourism,
particularly as two big deals are
in the works that would open
Belize to over a million cruise
visitors a year. As these of
one-day tourists hit the city streets and rural
destinations, the B.H.A. and many others, are
worried about the ability to handle all those people
and the possible degradation of Belize's tourism
product. According to Minister of Tourism, Mark
Espat, managing the two sectors will be
challenging, but it can be done.

Mark Espat, Minister of Tourism
"It is a challenge that has faced the Caribbean in
general.
Before in Belize, before 1998 when the cruise sector was

virtually nonexistent, it wasn't as much a challenge for
us
here. More recently it has been so, especially since
this year
we're expecting over half a million cruise visitors, as
opposed to two hundred overnight visitors. And next
year,
that figure should go up to over eight hundred thousand
in
2004 and a similar amount in 2005. The challenge is
really,
we believe, a question of management, a question of
trying
to direct the cruise passengers to those sites that are
most
convenient, such as Altun Ha, such as the Jaguar Paw
Caves,
the Caves Branch caves, Xunantunich, and developing more

exclusive, more exquisite destinations for the overnight

visitors who pay a premium and who want to feel as
though
they are getting something of greater value. It is
challenge
because the industry, especially the cruise industry is
growing very fast, and so I hope that we can step up and

meet those challenges."

According to Espat, out of the two hundred and
sixty million dollars in tourist receipts collected last

year, approximately sixty million came from
Belizean hotels.

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#73791 - 09/18/03 05:55 PM Re: Minister: Bz. can balance cruise & o'night tourism
Anonymous
Well, I for one, wish that the cruises would go elsewhere. Does the Honorable Minister think that cruisers will take care of the Belizean people? I THINK NOT! Does he think that more revenue is generated by cruisers than the overnight guests? What a crock! Does he think that cruisers will take care of the very precious natural and historical resources? BULL^$#*!
I'm not knocking cruises? It's my preferred mode of travel vacations. I am knocking the attitude that thinks that having that many people stomping on the reef and cutting wider paths in the rainforest is going to help Belize.
For those who live in Belize, tell me how many Belizeans you know that have been positively affected by cruisers. Now, tell me how many have been positively affected by hotels and overnight guests. My guess is that your answers will closely match mine.

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#73792 - 09/18/03 06:14 PM Re: Minister: Bz. can balance cruise & o'night tourism
mayatravel Offline
I am not a fan of cruise ship travel for myself or for Belize tourism, but I know many grass roots people who will benefit, both directly and indirectly, from the onslaught. It'll never be enough to make up for damages incurred by the environment, but, for instance, dancers at the Belize Dance Company are thrilled to have the opportunity for regularly scheduled paying performances for the first time in their careers. Tell them to go back to their old jobs bagging groceries instead. It's not an easy act to balance.
_________________________
Maya Travel Services

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#73793 - 09/18/03 08:20 PM Re: Minister: Bz. can balance cruise & o'night tourism
Laguna Punta Offline
Me thinks Belize has been "discovered". What a shame! frown
_________________________
Gone fishing!!

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