I am not a diver so cannot really comment but I thought those who dive and are in the industry may want to read this if you have not already. I just posted the initial writing you can follow link below for the comments that followed.
The Tour Guide License requirement is Belize is not improving the safety and quality of diving there. It may have improved the quality of tours such as cave tubing and ruin touring, but it is hurting the dive industry. The certification agencies have clear requirements to maintain the quality of their brand. In Belize, another requirement is added, a Belize Tour Guide License. The only real additional requirement that the license requires that is not required byt PADI, SDI, NAUI, ect is being a native Belizian. In other premier dive destinations, the professional diving community is internationl and some what itinerant. The constant movement of professionals around the work helps to homogenize the standards and practices around the world. In Belize this is not the case. Practices that would be considered outrageous anywhere else are standard operating procedure in Belize. I think this can continue because there is not exchange of professionals with the outside world. There is however an exchange of professionals within Belize. The Tourguide License was probably originally intended to make all of the various tours factual and safer. The net affect in the diving industry is quite the opposite.
I would like to agree that we will not name names in the this thread. I do not feel it is necessary as all of the operators seem to practice the same basic shabby safety practices.
Extremely agressive profiles on reptitive dives
Not evaluating divers credentials/experience
Shabby rental equipment
Questionable training practices
Total disregard for the value of buddies
Handling marine life
Please list your experiences from Belize, but do not name shops. All of the shops are at fault to some extent. I really think that the source of this line of thinking is that the DMs and Instructors from Belize rarely dive in other parts of the world. What happens in Belize stays in Belize. A quarterly meeting with a rep from PADI is not going to address this issue.
For the record, I will continue to dive in Belize. I just wish that divers would have an understanding of how self reliant tourist divers in Belize need to be. The shops will pretend like they are taking care of you, but in reality, your safety is up to you. It is my hope that the Native requirement of the Belize Tourism License be dropped in favor of making the industry safer and potentially more successful.http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/belize/416957-state-diving-tourism-industry-belize.html