FECTAB hits out on status of cruise industry

The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB), hosted a press briefing today to express their concerns about the vlcsnap-2016-01-26-10h15m33s652regulatory authorities in the cruise sector failing to rein in foreign-owned competitors while over regulating local interests . Today, Yoni Rosado and fellow outspoken executives Tom Greenwood vlcsnap-2016-01-26-10h16m25s518spoke on the matter of Bradley Paumen, owner of Dark Night Cave Adventure who is out on bail for charges of abetment to murder. Greenwood issued a strong call to the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) to cut all ties – immediately. The three men reiterated that there seems to be one standard for local operators, which they consider a harsher one, and a more relaxed, almost non-existent, standard for the foreign-based operators: Dark Night, Jaguar Paw and Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch operation on the Hummingbird Highway, none of which have direct supervision from NICH as do the Belizean-managed Nohoch Cheen, Actun Tunichil Muknal and Barton Creek sites. Meanwhile, they are sceptical of the plans rumoured for a cruise port owned by Ports Investments Limited, sponsored by interests belonging to Michael Ashcroft, to be built in Port Loyola. When Rosado brought up the matter of building such a valuable investment in a crime-ridden area, we challenged him as to whether that might be considered prejudicial to fellow tourism vlcsnap-2016-01-26-10h15m38s029operators, quite a few of whom are from Southside. He walked back his comments in part but maintained that it is still very much an unknown entity, at least compared to the current Tourism Zone and the shelved Stake Bank project.  And David Almendarez told us that they wish to change the culture of lack of consultation on major projects such as this one and Harvest Caye in the South. Greenwood, for his part, warned of “civil disobedience” if the authorities refused to take their advice seriously.

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