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Cruise meeting: Prime Minister reiterates ‘critical linkage’ with cruise operators

Posted: Monday, October 23, 2023. 2:16 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: As Belize prepares to navigate the ‘brave new world’ of cruise tourism, with as many as three cruise ports preparing for operation in the Belize District and another in the South, Prime Minister John Briceno says his government will continue to nurture a “critical linkage” with all cruise operators.

The P.M. stated that the cruise industry has become a critical component of Belize’s tourism sector and added that it is in Belize’s best interest to welcome it: “We remain committed to identifying those developments and solutions for the continued growth of cruise tourism, and Belize as a key destination.”

Cruise industry leaders at meeting in Miami, October 20 (Photo Courtesy: Government Press Office)


The Stake Bank operation is closest to launch, but the latest reports say not until 2024. Meanwhile, the Waterloo plan for the Belize City Port is in limbo and the Portico Enterprises plan at Sibun is expected to join the fray with the proposed Belize Cruise Ship docking Facility and Tourism Village Development Bill. Portico is supported by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, whose Vice President of Destination Development Joshua Carroll is quoted as saying, “Royal Caribbean Group commends FCCA and the Government of Belize for bringing together cruise industry leaders to gain consensus on developing a sustainable future for our industry in Belize. We are eager to continue collaborating with our industry colleagues and the government of Belize to bring to life our shared vision.” Similar sentiments were shared by the CEO of FCCA Michele Paige and representatives of MSC Cruises, Carnival Corporation, and Azamara Cruises.

Joining the Prime Minister was Minister of Tourism Anthony Mahler; Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Courtenay; Minister of State Christopher Coye; Minister of Public Utilities and Logistics Michel Chebat; Minister of Sustainable Development Orlando Habet; Mayor of Belize City Bernard Wagner, and executives and technocrats from the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations and the Belize Tourism Board.

 

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