The Many Sides of the Move To Marion Jones
On Friday's news, you saw the fiery press conference the local tour operators and FECTAB held to tell both the Belize Tourism Board and the Belize City Council that they will not be moved from the Fort Street Tourism Village.
That's the plan that the BTB wants to implement, because they say that the the area around FSTV has become too congested.
The tour operators firmly oppose that plan, insisting that they will lose money and the opportunity to sell their tours, if they are forced to move.
You saw Deputy Mayor Oscar Arnold's conciliatory explanation to the tour operators, and now the BTB' has released a statement in response. Their press release says quote, "The Belize Tourism Board, in collaboration with the Belize City Council and other key industry stakeholders, have embarked on a project to restructure the Fort Gorge Tourism Zone." End Quote.
The way it would work is that an application form and criteria to operate in the tourism zone will be implemented. The City Council's role is to manage the trade licenses to operate on the public street that they authorize the tour operators to use. All tour operators would have assigned parking by Memorial Park and assigned loading and offloading areas. All tour operators would have some vehicles in this tourism zone area, and once the tour operator sells a tour, one of the 2 vehicles from the Memorial Park area leaves, and one of the excess vehicles from Marion Jones can then move in and replace that vehicle.
The BTB thinks that this is the best solution to solve the congestion problem, and addressing the concerns from the tour operators they say that, quote, "We understand that some Tour Guides are not comfortable awaiting their turns at Marion Jones Stadium due to a fear of being left out of tour sales." End quote.
Their press release says, quote, "This is unfortunate, as we expect that the Tour Operators would equally distribute sales to the Tour Guides that conduct the Tours for them. As a result, a ticketing system was implemented for the trial to ensure all guides were respected in their rotation. We continue to hold stakeholder consultations in an aim to meet the objectives of this project." End quote.