More tourists to Placencia, now from Harvest Caye Print E-mail
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Thursday, 01 June 2017 00:00

Tour guides from Placencia, the surrounding communities, and other parts of Southern Belize will now get an economic boost because tourists visiting Harvest Caye will now be able to go on any tour of their choice. Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) has agreed with the Barrow Government and BTB on a model that the guests, who are looking for more than the Harvest Caye experience, can get to experience other parts of the southern district.

When Harvest Caye opened in November of last year, the local tour operators from Belize City complained bitterly that because NCL moved majority of their ships down south, their businesses suffered. Its been a few months since then, and a number of NCL’s own guests have been reviewing Harvest Caye on travel sites like Trip Advisor, and their main complaint is that they do not get to experience the attractions that Belize has to offer because their movement is restricted, once they land at Harvest Caye.

The cruise company had always committed to opening opportunities for local Belizeans once the Placencia Municipal Pier was prepared to be able to accept Norwegian cruisers. That commitment was fulfilled on Tuesday, May 30, when 38 cruise tourists landed at the pier to go visit parts of Placencia as they saw fit.

The way this service works is the guests are able to buy a ticket for $20 US which gets them on a boat from the island getaway to the Placencia mainland. Those tickets are available to guests through the booking process from NCL. Additionally, they can be bought from a Belizean dispatcher on the island.

The private tour company, Placencia Cruise Control, which is owned by Belizeans, have been given a tendering contract to ferry the Harvest Caye guests to the pier. Once they arrive there, the guests can then meet up with whichever tour operator they booked for the day. Alternatively, they can browse through a catalog of brochures at the tour operator’s Sales desk, which acts as a welcome center. They can also visit parts of Placencia Town, and enjoy any of the amenities it has to offer, to experience the food and culture of Belize. There are no final figures as yet, as to the number of the Belizean tour operators who will get the opportunity to get business

Currently, the plan is to ferry 350 guests from Harvest Caye to Placencia for every day that Harvest Caye is actively taking port calls from NCL ships. The Chairperson of the Placencia Village Council, Elsa Villanueva, told the press that this increase in activity is a welcomed boost that village will get to bolster the over night tourism sector, which is getting to the “slow season”.