The decision to build a welcome center at the Placencia Municipal Pier and to have NCL cruise ship passengers be ferried to Placencia Village was not a decision made overnight. This is the results of months of meetings held with stakeholders where concerns were raised that NCL was hoarding all the profits on the caye. Noriko Gamero, Director of Cruise and Destination Planning at the Belize Tourism Board, spoke to the media in this regard.
“We’ve worked at least since I have taken over the position in August of last year tediously nonstop in trying to ensure that all those comments and the recommendations that came from those that opposed it were addressed and that is why such rigorous and structure was set in place with the application process because we truly want to make it an economic boost for the village but at the same time we want to have it in a controlled manner. So I think all the stakeholder meetings have, every time we met there was something that was adjusted, every time we met there was something else that maybe the heads at the committee didn’t think of that they brought to the table and were like ‘you’re right we haven’t thought of that.’ I’m sure post today we are still going to have a continuous amount of recommendations and adjustments to the plan so I think it’s just a matter of hearing the voices of the people, I can give you one specific example it is to not allow land tours because we don’t have a traffic, we don’t have the streets, we don’t have a parking area so we have ensure that the local operators respect that and we don’t create an unnecessary congestion and that we can move forward in getting the operators give a nice tour to the guest.”
Gamero believes that NCL’s decision to agree to such arrangement is a show of good faith.