Now that I have attempted to establish my right to comment, I will do so.
The argument for cruise ships that the Belize politicians use is a “smoke and mirrors” argument.
They argue from the premise that this is good for Belize and it’s people because it brings in millions of dollars. One needs to follow those dollars to determine the “net benefit” to the Belize people and what is being given up in order to get that benefit. The reality is that a high percentage of the dollars coming in will be going to a small few, those politicians and those in the favor of the politicians. I can assure you the cruise ships will not be paying in Belize dollars for the services. It will be paid to the select few in US dollars that will then be used to buy those “expensive cars and boats not made in Belize, condos in Miami, trips to Paris” and tuition in British and US universities. Oh, and don’t forget that which will go into the Columbian economy. All this gained with loans backed by the Belize people. All those dollars then leaving the country with only the debt left in Belize.
Contrast that with the dollars coming into the country from the “overnight visitor”. Those dollars go to the resorts and restaurants who pay the cleaning people, the cooks and waiters, to the tour guides, etc. Those paid in turn, spend those dollars in their community purchasing their necessities of life. Those dollars are worth considerably more in “net benefit” to Belize than the “gross cruise dollars”. That could be a pun? The “gross” part, I mean. So if any of the cruise dollars are gained at the expense of the overnight dollars, the net gain to the Belize economy is actually a net loss.
I would offer this to the bbq today via e-mail or tele-conference. Not in person for selfish reasons. The anonimity of this board is great, although I am begining see the advantage of more than one screen name.
PS: It seems inconsistant to me to invite someone to a "round table discussion" to discuss these issues but then to infer that people should not use this medium to discuss the same issues unless the position is that only the ones with "credentials" acceptable are allowed to participate or that only comments of a favorable or flatering nature are acceptable.
Aside from the sarcastic comment about anonimity, I would welcome the oportunity and open my home and ears to anyone wishing to discuss issues effecting Belize, my country or any other. So if anyone wishes to look me up when I am in San Pedro, please do. No credentials required.