Belize News Post learned today that Placencia’s tour operators (The Placencia Tour Operators Association ) has voted and argued against allowing cruise ships into Placencia. The tour operators have produced a list of reasons for not allowing the cruise ships which often carry 3000 plus passengers.
Among the reasons:
Noting that its members voted this week to oppose cruise tourism, the association said cruise ship tourists would have a detrimental effect on its traditional overnight tourist business, which has “known economic benefits … outweighing possible economic benefits from cruise tourism.”
The association also argued mass tourism from cruise ships would result in adverse effects on the area’s fragile marine and inland environments such as coral reefs and fish and bird habitats.
The associated also cited the inability of Belize to enforce laws regulating cruise tourism; the inability of local tour operators to obtain affordable loans necessary to comply with cruise ship requirements such as size and quality of boats and vehicles and liability insurance; the lack of meaningful local control; the fact that local sites already are at or over carrying capacity without the ability to accommodate mass tourism numbers; and significantly fewer employment opportunities for Belizeans in cruise ship tourism than traditional overnight tourism.
The association also noted a lack of necessary infrastructure in southern Belize for mass cruise ship tourism, such as sewage treatment facilities; public restrooms; garbage collection and disposal; roads; and even water systems to provide drinking water in some locations.
“The cost of providing this infrastructure will run into the millions of dollars — money our governments don’t have – either nationally or locally,” the association said.
This is not the end of the story however. The report also states that investors related to Royal Caribbean cruise ship operators have recently acquired land in Plancencia for the construction of a cruise ship/ tourism village. OMG, not another one. Belize is too small to have two badly planned, poorly managed tourist traps.