Placencia BTIA Maintains Its Current Position:
Opposed to Cruise Ship Tourism in the Greater Placencia area.
Nov 11, 2010 - Following the October 22, 2010 public consultation regarding the Cruise Ship Tourism Project in Placencia – hosted by Belize Tourism Board and certain Cruise Line representatives – the Placencia Chapter of BTIA maintains that it remains fundamentally opposed to Cruise Ship Tourism being brought to the Placencia area.
Main reasons that Placencia BTIA opposes include but are not limited to:
1) Negative Impact on Overnight Tourism - Placencia’s existing and uniquely successful tourism product – overnight guests who enjoy the ambiance of Placencia and the surrounding areas – works. The jobs created because of our overnight guests employ the majority of people in this area. Response from those same visitors is that many will not return if cruise ship tourism comes to Placencia. Conversely, the recently released BTB Action Plan puts more of an emphasis on cruise ship tourism, with no mention at all of overnight tourism, in Placencia.
2) The CEO of the Ministry of Tourism stated that he had approached the cruise lines about coming to Southern Belize. Who benefits? Why is Cruise Ship Tourism better for tourism in the South than the overnight market? Is there data supporting this?
3) Income earned from Cruise Ship Tourism traditionally appears to bypass most existing stakeholders of the local community, in favor of a handful of Big-Pocket investors and a few carefully chosen individuals.
4) The ongoing Sustainable Tourism Project, in part, funded a study of what type of tourism was most appropriate for the Placencia area. The preliminary presentation given at the October 6, 2010 consultation by the STP-hired Tourism & Leisure Europraxism Consulting made a strong recommendation that no cruise ship projects be placed anywhere in Placencia or Big Creek. Is this contradicting what the BTB seems to be advocating?
5) At No Point During the October 22nd Consultation did the audience receive complete details of what is being proposed. Specifically, what size ships (passenger capacity)? How often will they arrive? How many ships per year? At what time periods of the year? What sort of increase is the project expecting in the next five years? Ten years?
These details and unanswered questions are vital components to any decisions being made regarding such a fundamental change of direction for the second fastest growing tourism destination in Belize. Therefore, while they remain unanswered, it behooves our industry and its members to remain opposed to the cruise ship issue as it stands today.
For more information contact the Placencia Tourism Center – tel: 523-4045 or email:[email protected]
Yours in Sustainable Tourism, Placencia BTIA Board of Directors
PHONE: 523-4045 or 523-3294 EMAIL: [email protected] WEBSITES: www.placencia.com & www.placenciabreeze.com