Tuesday, January 25, 2011



Update from the Amandala mid week press.

Posted: 25/01/2011 - 08:35 AM
Author: Stacey Kelly

The cruise tourism sector of Belize has experienced quite a “rollercoaster” of events during the first few weeks of 2011, as Carnival Cruise Lines, Belize’s largest cruise tourism provider, has cancelled all but one of its calls to Belize for this week. This is a direct response to its, demand for a price decrease by local tender providers and the usage of larger vessels with a capacity of 150 to 200 persons.

Information to us is that there will only be one call to our shores and that will be tomorrow, Tuesday, January 25, 2011. The call to Belize will be by Carnival Dream cruise ship with a capacity of 3,646.

The other calls which were cancelled for this week are as follows: on Wednesday the 26th of January 2011, Carnival Glory with a capacity of 3,500 passengers; on Thursday the 27th, Carnival Legend Cruise with a capacity of 2,667 passengers, and Carnival Valor Cruise with a capacity of 3,500, and on Friday the 28th, Braemar with a capacity of 950 passengers.

In addressing this matter we were told by a source that the Government of Belize will be briefed by members of the Belize Tourism Board in regard to this issue of Carnival’s decision to cancel its calls until their demands are met. This issue is said to be one of many discussions to take place in the Cabinet tomorrow whereupon GOB should make clear its position.

Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism, Lindsay Garbutt, in an interview with us tonight spoke on BTB’s continued support in ensuring the livelihood of the local tenders: “What the local operators are doing is looking at what it is that they can do to make it economically viable for them. That negotiation to a certain extent is to be a negotiation on the market; our main [GOB’s] interest is to try and buy time for our local people and to help to make sure that they are not disenfranchised.”

Garbutt told us that as far as he knows the local tenders were in negotiations for the price and that he is not aware of a set increase by local tenders or whether Carnival had indicated a set decrease.

Carnival’s boycott should alter BTB’s 2011 eight percent projected increase for cruise tourism visitors and only time will tell what other obstacles this sector will have to face.

The mood among the citizenry and voters are anger and the weight of opinion is heavily against CARNIVAL, the national public outside of the port town, in the other districts, wanting the CARNIVAL CRUISE BOYCOTT and war of lies and disinformation about Belize to the outside world, to be made permanent absence from Belize of CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES, by our UDP government. The government on the other hand profess the need to get the crumbs offered them, to maintain the bureaucracy with such monies they can collect through CARNIVAL customer visits to our tourist adventure offerings and Mayan sites. The electorate outside of the port town crowd watch this war by CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES on BELIZE with interest, to see how our UDP government handle themselves. Do the UDP have the required backbone is the question?

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