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PUP defends tour guides

Several Belize City tour guides are not happy with the Belize Tourism Board because they say they are being relocated. Some of the tour guides called in on the talk shows this morning, expressing concerns over the BTB’s decision to relocate them from in front of Fort Street Tourism Village to the Marion Jones Sporting Complex on the other side of the city. The tour guides are upset because this, they say, is a huge inconvenience that will affect their pockets. This evening PUP Mayoral Candidate for Belize City, Bernard Wagner, called on the BTB and the Belize City Council to do what is right and leave the tour guides where they are.

Bernard Wagner, PUP Mayoral Candidate, Belize City: “What that created is a situation where you will now be creating a middle man because when the tourist comes out of the gate they will meet various tour operators and then those tour operators will then link with the tour guide creating a middle man scenario where of course the small revenues that these people are already getting will dwindle even further and what it also does, imagine being located at the Marion Jones stadium the time gap in reaching over back to the Tourist Village. Many of times these tourist will look at and probably move on to another person or catch the water taxi or catch an ordinary  taxi so were looking at 150 to 200 tour guides who will be impacted by this. Their families will be impacted by this and we as the PUP city council we want to ensure that we are always looking out for best interest of our people.”

During the press conference the media challenged Wagner, asking him if he is politicking the tour guide’s plight to gain votes. He responded, saying it is good politics.

Bernard Wagner, PUP Mayoral Candidate, Belize City: “Its politics season you would say but um we take business very seriously at our council. We take it very seriously and we are always focusing on ensuring that our people get a piece of this pie. It can’t be a situation where the tour operators are already behind the fence making their share of the pie. Why now are you going to take away the small amount that is left out there for our people and out them in adverse situation? That to us is against our policy we are for the people and even if say even if people would leave here saying its politics well it’s good politics so well have to look at the situation well have to go in their work out a plan where at least the tour guides are not impacted adversely. We don’t want our tour guides to be located at the Marion Jones Stadium, that’s a no.”

We understand more than 150 tour guides are expected to be affected.