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|Cruise Tourism Threatens
Placencia is a small village of about 1200 people located at the end of a 15-mile long peninsula, a narrow finger of land in southern Belize, bordered on the east by the Caribbean Sea and on the west and south by the Placencia Lagoon. About twenty years ago, the Village started becoming popular with tourists looking for something a bit different - good snorkeling, diving and fishing, nice beaches and an unspoiled environment -- all in an authentic Belizean Creole village where it was easy to meet and make friends with local people -- to be able to visit their homes and get to know their families.
Over the years, more and more people heard about and decided to experience the charms of Placencia and nearby attractions such as Laughing Bird Caye, whale sharks at Gladden Spit, Mayan ruins such as Lubaantun and Nim Li Punit, the Garifuna village of Seine Bight, Monkey River and Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (aka Jaguar Jungle).
But, Placencia kept its soul and focused its growing tourism on retaining the qualities that initially attracted visitors - the beauty of its natural environment, the friendliness of its people and its history and culture.
Then, on 6 January 2010, The Honorable Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, announced that cruise ships were coming to Placencia. Villagers later learned, as confirmed by Mr. Michael Singh, CEO of the Belize Ministry of Tourism, that a group of private investors and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines had purchased property in Placencia Village for a "low-density" tourism village.
Many people in Placencia fear that mass cruise ship tourism will destroy not only the responsible tourism Placencia has worked so hard to build, but also the quality of life of local residents and the natural resources that are an integral part of that quality of life and Placencia's overnight tourism.
We invite you to explore our Website - and to take action if you agree with us that mass cruise ship tourism does not belong in Placencia and southern Belize.