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#446771 09/16/12 06:12 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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BY: Peter Wolf
Licensed Tour Operator in Belize

The average Belizean still believes that his country is listed as the number 1 ranking Ecotourism countries in the world.

There is a flaw in his mind because he does not decide the ranking but the visitors do. And the average Belizean does not want to see reality but he wants to believe.

He wants to believe in the superiority of his country, in God and in everything what makes him happy. So it is not easy to speak about another view of realities. Give me a chance to try it.

Ecotourism means something like living in line with nature. People all over the world pay extraordinary fees to experience this kind of holidays. They are riding to Equator, exploring Brazil or Botswana and some of them are coming to Belize. You are reading right. Some of them, Belize is not the middle point of earth.

Belize - advertised by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) - As Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret - compared to the world tourism - only a very few guests. They are coming with high expectations and are willing to spend for an average two week vacation approximately 10,000 BZD a head. This number is not an estimate from the government or myself, it is a result of a yearly poll, asked in the USA, Canada and Europe.

The question was and is - how much are you willing to spend for a nice eco friendly vacation in Belize? Let us see what the tourist gets - They are going to swim in the Blue Hole on the Hummingbird Highway. After a few minutes, the so advertised eco friendly spot is disturbed through a truck, using jack brakes on the nearby highway. All the birds are getting quite to give space to this dominating noise from this reckless eco unfriendly entertaining driver.

"Let us go to a quieter place in our eco friendly country. A jungle walk through the Guanacaste National Park nearby gives you a nice impression about our variety of plants and a good opportunity to swim in th river at the junction of Roaring Creek and Belize River. It is a beautiful spot. To hell with the Blue Hole." The tour guides guiding.

Going up the Hummingbird Highway, dodging potholes and hoping the unsigned bumps are not destroying the axle of the car, Guide and Eco tourists approaching the Guanecaste National Park.

A well motivated girl at the reception is greeting the newcomers, but she has either to interrupt her speech or to raise her voice because right in front of the Ecopark a truck with an ill muffler is passing the place. The tourists are becoming pisst. "Do you have another location without noise pollution?" they ask. "Sure, in Mountain Pine Ridge is it very quiet. But I cannot go there straight; I have to change my car. The road is too bad. It is not too expensive to go there but you need to grip a little money out of your pocket."

Tired of all this exiting but unexpected experiences the guests agree to pay up front. Car change at the Georgeville junction and off you go in a Land Rover at about 15 miles per hour in a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit in the air in the middle of dust in an eco unfriendly 12 miles per gallon car on a bumpy path you cannot call a road anymore. Its 70 miles to Caracol, on the way are most of the inland highlights of Belize. (Big Rock, Rio Frio, Rio on, Five Sisters, Calico Jacks, Bartoon Creek, 1000 ft Falls �.) but the price is more then one grip in the pocket.

The visitor's disks are complaining � Eco friendly paperbags are served to get the tourists vomit off the road. No littering in Belize! We are caring about our pristine environment! Vomit in the paperbag and take it home! (There are no garbage cans on the road! Why - we are Eco friendly we pull it down, only foreigners vomit!)

And then, the noise again Ratta Ta Tat Ratta Ta Tat. A log truck comes down the terrible road out of the Mountain Pine Ridge with Jack Brakes or no muffler, it does not matter anymore. Ecotourism PLUS logs and Plus without muffler. Belize is THE Ecotourism country in the world.

This is only one reason why the tourism in Belize is flowering. Ratte tat a, better ha ha ha. In the morning - the tourists flees the country - everything is fine. Ever single morning show starts his rhythm with Welcome to the beautiful Belize, the most blessed country of the world. And so it goes down on and on and on �. And the tourists keep staying away and the people are loosing jobs but the average Belizean believes, Belize is still the most beautiful place in the world and the number one in Ecotourism.

The Star

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,461
Peter, an experienced, not only licensed tour operator or guide in Belize would know neither the BH or Guanacaste are remote destinations, but attractions right off the highway, however offer easy access. Same experienced guide would be using a road worthy vehicle with a/c and before booking the trip, would have let their guests know the road into the MPR and to Caracol is bumpy and dusty or bumpy and muddy; that the MPR and Chiquibul forests are reserves where we extract pine and hardwoods under management plans; few services long the road. Govt made a policy decision yrs ago that Belizeans would be better served pushing roads into as many communities as possible for access, rather than just have a few main well paved roads and hywys. There are plenty things a tour operator can and should do to ameliorate the rough conditions, as simple as carrying along a plastic bag for garbage to contain the odor of left over food containers, or sick bags and carry your own garbage out and dispose of it in town. You can't do anything about the road conditions, but I think those attractions are well worth the bumps to see and behold.

Belize based travel specialist
[email protected]
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 337
Here is the real reason Belize tourism is not what it should be.

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