BTIA Toledo and Placencia Chapters reject large-scale cruse tourism

vlcsnap-2013-06-18-18h17m20s34Earlier this month, it was announced that Cabinet rejected a proposal made by the Norwegian Cruise Line for the development of a cruise terminal at Crawl Caye. When the offer was tabled to GOB, there was a string of negative response coming from various sectors including the Belize Tourism Industry Association, along with other environmental organizations and tourists. Well, after Cabinet dismissed the project, the PM stated that NCL was still interested in exploring other possibilities in southern Belize. And when asked if GOB would entertain any other potential development for cruise tourism in the south, Barrow said that government had not reserved a blanket no. But we can tell you tonight that BTIAorganizations are already coming out against any such alternative. The BTIA Toledo and Placencia Chapters say they reject any introduction of large-scale cruise tourism in southern Belize. Among the listed concerns, the BTIA Toledo says that “Development invariably comes at a cost, and Toledo is not prepared to pay the price associated with the mainstream cruise industry. Our sites have limited capacity and our infrastructure in general is completely unequipped to deal with the volume of visitors that cruise ships would bring. Our way of life and traditional values would be threatened.” There is word that the NCL has set its eyes on Harvest Caye; but not so fast says the BTIA Placencia. They argue that “Although Harvest Caye does not lie within a marine protected area, the same negative environmental impacts resulting from excessive visitor pressure remain.” Meanwhile, Cabinet says that they still feel this could stimulate employment and open up other economic benefits for Belizeans in the South. Any   new   site   and   project   proposal   will   be   presented   to   the   current   Cabinet   Sub- committee chaired by Minister Godwin Hulse.

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