BTB says things are back on track in the Cruise ship industry

After a shaky start last week, the tourism high season is picking up. Last week, bad weather conditions caused the cancellation of a number of cruise ships triggering huge financial losses in head tax and millions of dollars in revenue to stakeholders. But the folks at the B.T.B. say that things are back on track in the industry. That hitch aside, more than a million visitors have arrived in the country so far by air, land and sea exceeding projections and the high season is just getting started. The B.T.B. says it hopes to reach its target of three hundred thousand passengers in overnight tourism.

Valdemar Andrade, Director of Cruise and Regional Operations, B.T.B.

“In terms of an update, you can see that the weather is much better this week; it is blowing less. Today we have two ships in port and tomorrow we are scheduled to have four and three ship days. I have to report that this week, we had ships on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and we’ll have ships on Saturday as well. So we are making up for those numbers very quickly and so we are now in the full swing of high season, you know pending the weather. But I don’t foresee that we should have any more of those major issues in the near future and of course we continue to look at what the options are for the future.”


“And I guess, given the end of the hurricane season that maybe also kinda contribute to it as well.”

Valdemar Andrade

“Definitely and also you know the weather patterns are changing and there is a lot of…all the different phenomenon that are occurring, including climate change, we are right on the sea level and we have to mitigate for those circumstances and we are back on track. Let me say that we are back and tract. I have to report that even in overnight our numbers are looking very good. This year we should hit the three hundred thousand passenger mark in overnight tourism by the end of December we should be there. We are a little ways off and that will be very historic for us here Belize; thanks to our marketing team that has done a wonderful job in exposing the brand, in exposing Belize and inviting people to come to the country.”

BTB looks at long term options for Cruise ship docking facilities

Last week’s cancellations caused by weather conditions, highlighted the desperate need for a docking facility.  The Director of Cruise and Regional Operations for B.T.B. says they are looking at the long term options. The situation is complicated because the Feinstein group has plans to build one at Stake Bank, but the Fort Street Tourism Village has an exclusive contract which still has a life of thirteen more years. Director Valdemar Andrade says that a docking facility would take three years to complete.

Valdemar Andrade, Director of Cruise and Regional Operations, B.T.B.

“As you guys have noted in the media and you have asked this question before, I keep saying that the B.T.B. has always recommended that a docking facility—a port with a proper docking facility—is the long-term option and that is the option. That’s the option that we have to look at for the future and it is all a matter of process. So as soon as we get through the issues; that’s where we need to go.”

Duane Moody

“Is there a possible roll out time for this to come into effect?”

Valdemar Andrade

“In terms of a docking facility, from the plans that we have seen at the B.T.B., it will take about three years for completion of a cruise port and docking facility; with the causeways that have been proposed. However, the actual docking facility to dock the ships, to dock four ships of the Oasis-class, should be able to be completed within twelve to eighteen months according to those plans.”

Channel 5