– Press Release, NCL – The Placencia Village Council Expresses Support for Line’s Development Plans on Harvest Caye – Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has received public, positive support from The Placencia Village Council for the line’s planned new eco-friendly cruise destination on Harvest Caye in Belize.
The Placencia Village council made a public decision to support Norwegian’s eco-friendly destination on Harvest Caye. In addition, the Placencia Village council expressed their trust in the Government of Belize (GOB) and Norwegian to remain committed to protecting Belize’s local eco-system including manatee areas, surrounding mangroves, local swimming and local fishing areas during the destination’s development and operation.
The Placencia Village Council also acknowledged that Norwegian’s development on Harvest Caye will directly provide employment opportunities for local Belizeans. The new destination is expected to benefit Belize directly with significantly increased head tax revenues, and at a local level with up to 1,000 new jobs. The creation of the new destination will also help relieve cruise tourism pressures in Belize City which has been called for in Belize’s National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan. Norwegian also plans to employ a majority of Belizeans in the construction and operation of the destination in Belize. The company has also created a hiring program specifically for Belizeans who want to work in the immediate future on its vessels while the project is under development. Once the destination is ready to open, those Belizeans will have priority preference for the numerous staff positions needed to run the day-to-day operations.
Norwegian first announced the purchase of approximately 75 acres in Southern Belize in August. The company plans to invest $50 million in the project to create a world-class cruise destination, consisting of two locations: an island destination with docking/tendering facilities and a mainland connection point for inland tours. Major components of the project are anticipated to include a floating pier, island village with open-air structures on raised platforms, marina, transportation hub for tours to the mainland, a lagoon for a variety of water sports and a relaxing beach area. The goal is to design an authentic experience grounded in the storyline of nature, ancient culture, art, adventure and music that celebrates Belizean, Mayan and Garifuna history and culture.
The Government of Belize and Norwegian have signed a memorandum of understanding on the development that calls for adherence to Belize’s environmental standards, creation of jobs for Belizeans, as well as significant economic impact, among other items.
To learn more about the project, visit the Belize tab on the company’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/norwegiancruiseline. – End of Release –
This press release comes following objections expressed by various branches of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) around the country and other entities. Here is Belize Tourism Industry Association Objection Letter to Norwegian Cruise Line Project.