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#72981 09/03/03 10:53 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline
Carnival announces new cruise port for Belize

It would be the largest single private investment in
the nation's history, but tonight there are more
questions than answers surrounding the
announcement of plans to build a huge new cruise
terminal near the port in Belize City. The official
unveiling came in the form of a press release issued
last night by Belize Ports Limited, which announced
that the Belizean company had reached an agreement
with Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise
company, to construct a pier and related facilities to
handle two mega-ships simultaneously. The cost: one
hundred million Belize dollars. Construction should
begin by year's end and be completed within eighteen
months. The implications of the project are
staggering, for many reasons. Firstly, by allowing
direct access to the mainland, the cruise port makes
Belize a far more attractive cruise destination, as it
eliminates the problems associated with tendering
passengers to and from ships anchored at sea.
Secondly, it ties Carnival--and its thirteen different
lines--to Belize for at least twenty-five years and
eliminates much of the uncertainty typically
associated with the cruise industry. Thirdly--and this
may not please everyone--it sets Belize's tourism
industry on an irreversible path of radically increased
cruise tourism. And while that path may have a
significant economic impact in some areas, like Belize
City, it will place a staggering strain on existing
tourism destinations and natural resources. And if not
handled properly, could threaten the health of the
nation's traditional overnight tourism industry, an
industry which has achieved its present vitality by
promoting Belize's pristine beauty and intimate nature
of the eco-tourism product. We wanted to hear more
about some of these issues, but Belize Ports Limited's
Luke Espat said that he would not speak until
tomorrow. we turned to the Director of
Tourism, the one official who could certainly enlighten
us on the art of the deal and its potential impact on
the Jewel. And here's where we received a shock.
Director of Tourism Tracy Taegar told News 5 she has
no knowledge of any such proposal or negotiation and
therefore could not comment on the impact such a
project would have on the Belize tourism scene. If
you're confused, join the club. Hopefully by tomorrow's
newscast we'll have a few answers.
this reeks.

Email Said Musa and/or any other politicos that you can think of.

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,429
Nothing happens this fast in Belize. I think it's good, and will help Belize thrive locally in the global economy.

If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 3,281
This is BAD news. More cruise ships and bigger docking facilities are not what Belize needs, IMHO. The infrastructure & delicate sites cannot support what is already coming in!

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 51
Where do the cruise ships go now? Is it mostly Belize City, or do they get anywhere near AC? (Please tell me they don't...)

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,429
I assume the market analysis conducted by Carnival Cruise Lines suggested the opposite.

If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,035
Good or Bad - I bought some land in Puerto Vallarta in 1981-I had only heard of the place from the "Love Boat" series until I visited the place which I found to be relatively idyllic-look at what has happened the residents of Jallisco have benefited hugely from the cruise boats and from tourism in general.
If Belize invests in infrastructure,and the gov't allows everyone to make a few shillings (rather than the favoured few)-it will be a definite bonus-what Mexico realised was to keep the monies in the country,and allow the general people to prosper-thereby developing a true middle class which is the bedrock of stability in most countries.

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
I'm not a fan of cruise mass tourism, but I see the value of it to at least part of the tourism industry and potentially to the country.

What stumps me, though, is the decision -- if it is a decision -- to build in Belize City. If I were Carnival's marketing director I'd want it at Big Creek.

Belize City's crime and other problems are going to bite the cruise lines one of these days.

At one time, most cruise ships in the Caribbean stopped at Kingston, Jamaica, too. But now you can't get a tourist to go to Kingston because of the crime.

I've always held that the easiest way to double tourism overnight in Belize is to build a new international airport somewhere other than Ladyville, say in the south or in Cayo, so people don't have go to or near Belize City.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 455
Please keep us posted on any developments....if Carnival books special eco-cruises to Belize it may be a good thing...regular American turistas could be too much for Belize to handle....

Grace DeVita
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 85
Interesting, in light of what Pedro says about BTB making it hard for the small guy who markets to "backpackers" to get started. Backpackers may pay less per night, but they generally stay longer, spending $$ with the Mom n Pops of Belize.

Cruise ship numbers are deceptive. The "arrivals" in a certain year jump when you bring in a 2,500 passenger ship that spends a day. Thus, with tourism #s up, BTB looks good on paper, people get re-elected and keep their jobs, but is any real $$ coming in and where does it go?

Maybe BTB is being myopic in their approach to tourism? Again? Still? What a surprise.

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,536
I can see what the idea is, but promoting Belize this way can go two directions, and I fear for the worst:

The tourism we have suffers from cruise ships, as does our fragile nature. Belize is just not made for mass tourism, and what do we need it for?; we don't have that many mouths to feed; in Belize the profit will rather be for the favoured few.

This can lead to an anti promotion, along with, as Lan says, small criminality in Belize City. The Cruise ship cattle is already briefed on sea about the dangers in Belize City. Ask any Cruise ship tourist what their impression about Belize was, and it will be: "Very dangerous place".

This is not the image we want to spread, also keeping in mind that it is a false image!

Conclusion: Definitely bad news.

Live and let live
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