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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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5 cruise ships docked in Belize this morning – bringing with them about 12,000 passengers. It was more good news for the cruise sector in which arrivals grew by 18% last year. Registrar of Hotels at the Belize Tourism Board Lloyd Enriquez says today was as good as it gets.

Lloyd Enriquez, Registrar of Hotels
“Today is about as big as it would get for the year. We try to manage the numbers to keep it around 5 or 6 ships in port. And when you see a six ship day, it would really mean there is one or two smaller vessel among those that are counted in the six. So today we have five ships but not all of them are very big ships. There is at least one there that is a relatively smaller ship, a thousand passengers or less.

We’ve grown a lot as a destination. We have a lot of private destinations opening up. If I can name a few just Old Belize and Bacab immediately come to mind. There are many others like that, there is Banister Island. So there are a lot of private sector people who have come in and invested to create a destination for these people to distribute them and as well the top sellers still remain the Mayan ruins and now a site managed by NICH, No Chohen, which is really the Jaguar Paw/Caves Branch Cave which is the number one tour destination for Belize. So among all the private and public sector destinations we have more than enough facilities and destinations to distribute these guests all over the country.

The figures for the year ended January to December 2009 saw the third highest year in terms of cruise passenger arrivals in the country at a little over 705,000. So if you go back into history in terms of those numbers, you will see that that is the third highest and this year is shaping up to be more or less the same. Of course you know that cruise tourism has a very marked and very cyclical nature in terms of a high season and a low season. So right now we are in the high season which basically runs from mid-November to mid-April.

Cruise tourism is healthy in Belize but we should always look at cruise tourism in Belize in a regional context because Belize is part of an itinerary really, so it is not only Belize that is on the itinerary; it is the entire western Caribbean. These ships ideally or typically would come from Mexico, Cozumel or Costa Maya, and then to Belize and then some of them would go to Honduras and then back up. But the entire western Caribbean remains a very novel destination for cruise ships, there is a lot of potential.”

While the Tourism Board put today’s arrivals at 12,000, other industry sources put it at 16,000.

Channel 7

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 539
I just can't believe those kinds of numbers can be good for the fragile ecosystems in Belize.....

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,001
I think it would be good for the local people , some do ok from the ships ?? but very few .The reason most of the money goes to ther few big tour companies who have the contracts to take tourists around ..people hang around the tourist village by the gate for a chance at getting someone to take around ..the village is like a fort with it 's shops who kick back there money to cruise ships and the big players who own the places .When people go off on there own and walk thru town ,they do not like it and run back to the ships they never get to see Belize the we all see it ..I know this as a fact As this is my business ..

Last edited by captjeff; 02/12/10 10:37 AM.

Living The Dream Every Day!
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 803
Jeff you are correct and thankfully when we took the cruise in December on NCL they flat out told us that our Samana Dominican Republic stop you better take a shore excursion or you won't enjoy it and just stay on board that day.
5 ships in one day for Belize, I could only imagine what those passengers thought or their overall impression of Belize if they didn't take an excursion, I bet it isn't good.

But why eat my vegetables I already know that I am short!
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,461
Survey found that passengers who took day trips in Belize ranked it a third favorite destination behind CR and Cozumel. Passengers who hung out in Belize City ranked it second to last, just ahead of Haiti. The cruise ship biz is just like Vegas, the house always wins.

Belize based travel specialist
[email protected]

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