NCL Disappointed with BTIA Print E-mail
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Written by Shane d. Williams   
Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:00

Hon. Godwin Hulse and Colin MurphyRepresentatives of the Government of Belize and Norwegian Cruise Line responded to the Belize Tourism Industry Association at a press conference on Wednesday, August 14th.  Colin Murphy, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Vice President of Destination Development, says he is extremely disappointed to see that an “organization established to promote tourism would reject our proposal before they even knew what the project entails.” He says he cannot understand how the hoteliers believe that cruise tourism would negatively impact overnight tourism when “everywhere we have conducted business proved otherwise”. Hugh Darley, Harvest Caye Project Coordinator, says the hoteliers must understand that “cruise tourism is like the appetizer before dinner”. He went on to say that Cruise tourism is like familiarization trips that are free of cost to Belize. When cruise tourists are impressed during the six hours they experience off the ship they return to stay overnight.

Senator Godwin Hulse begged for the BTIA to explain how cruise tourism negatively impacts overnight tourism and ask those claiming to be concerned about the environment “which fool would invest $100 million” in something they are planning to destroy.  Hon. Manuel Herredia, Minister of Tourism, says the BTIA is an important partner but they must realize it “is only beneficial for all involved when we have consultation instead of confrontation, but the BTIA only seems to be interested in confrontation.” Laura Esquivel-Frampton, Director of BTB, also expressed her disappointment with the BTIA. She says the BTB disagrees with the notion that cruise tourism negatively impacts overnight tourism. She says it doesn’t make sense when “there was a 10% growth in tourism last year and already a 9% growth over that figure this year”.

Hulse said to opponents of the project, “There is no way we should have so many wonderful attractions in the south and the people are living in such abject poverty.”