The Norwegian Cruise Lines project at Harvest Caye and the Michael Feinstein project at Stake Bank have been subject to controversy, but they continue on.
On Wednesday Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Jr gave us an update on each.
Manuel Heredia Jr. – Minister of Tourism
“On the Harvest Caye project which is on its way now, I believe that we are moving very cautiously. The committee that coordinates this project is looking carefully, monitoring what is happening, and I believe that this particular project, that we see here today, will definitely impact the Norwegian project, will definitely impact the lives of these artisans that live around those archaeological sites, that work along those areas.
That is the reason why we were entertaining this project, because we believe that it will bring a better standard of living in that area, and it will uplift the livelihood of the artisans and for people working in those areas.”
In other tourism news, last week the Ministries of Immigration and Health put together several safety precautions for visiting cruise ships, in the wake of the near-scare over a lab technician thought to be carrying the Ebola virus aboard the Carnival Magic cruise ship. Local authorities refused the U.S. permission to evacuate the passenger, who turned out to be negative for the virus. But no chances will be taken, even if it offends Carnival Cruise Lines, which has complained of the tediousness of the new protocols.
Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia offered comment.
“Whenever these types of activities happen, as a Government we have to be extremely cautious. The Tourism Industry it is a very sensitive industry, and it is the bread and butter of many destinations.
There were some measures that were taken, but again, you know the cruise lines are a business entity, and they want to make sure that the passengers are safe.
So there are some measures, particularly one with the passports, that were taken. We are revisiting that particular one. And I believe that indeed we supposed to do so, because [for] these people it is not the first point of entrance. Belize is not the first destination. They go to Honduras, Mexico, and then finally Belize.
So we are looking at that and I am hoping that by this evening, we will have a concrete idea as to how we will move forward in that direction.”
The Minister says there is nothing to fear from Carnival’s threats, and commended his boss, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, for making the right call.