The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations hosted a press conference in Belize City this morning to raise several concerns. Among them was the state of cruise tourism in Belize. As listeners will remember, there are three competing interests: Port Coral, Port of Magical Belize, and Waterloo Port. Port Coral is tentatively slated to accept cruise ships in April 2022, but FECTAB says they are concerned about the dredging that will have to take place since all three operations are in same general geographic area. The organization’s President emeritus, Tom Greenwood explained.
Not only are there environmental concerns, Greenwood cited some history on the health impact of dredging near the city. FECTAB says that there is the possibility of grave concerns down the road if all this work goes ahead.
Tom Greenwood, President Emeritus, FECTAB: “We’re going to write the press a letter without those names saying we’ve written these people to show them what they’re messing around with and with our lives and then of course the media may do as it pleases. So if these people are hearing me and seeing me now please we want to tell you that if you mess around and you cause this self appointed prime minister of Belize, self appointed prime minister of Belize not the one in Belmopan the one that resides mostly in Belize City, to go ahead or to begin to go ahead with a thing like this hell will descend on your shoulders because if there’s an outbreak the likes of which we see here from only the effluence from the end of a canal – it’s only toward the end of the south canal it’s only toward the end of it and a part o it. When that digging starts all this stuff is going to be spread right along the coast, the south coast of Belize City. Not to mention that the ebb and flow of currents is going to carry this – and I’ve checked with people who know – right through to Robinson Point and the islands and reef beyond it and right through to the barrier reef. It may even go on a flow of south to north because the tides along the entire area of Stake Bank and the drowned cayes and all that. This is a disaster of proportions I cannot begin to even imagine about to happen. For what man ? Clint Eastwood ? A few dollars more ? No man. You can’t do that. You can’t do that. If this goes ahead and it happens hell is going to descend on your shoulders environment. You end up getting people sick or causing a pandemic because of this and it is possible, here it is in the files of NICH. People died and it was only one canal what do you think of the effluence of all the canals in that area including the Haulover Creek ? No man, commonsense would tell you you can’t put dollars ahead of lives.
The organization’s president took a different tack. David Almendarez criticised the government for not coming to the aid of tour guides as promised. He feels that the change the Briceno administration promised is not coming fast enough.
The organization is calling for a more comprehensive approach to cruise tourism, which includes environmental organizations and meaningful consultation. They have another event planned for next week. We will keep you posted.