Letter to the Editor: What are the plans for the upcoming tourism season?

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Letters-to-the-EditorDear Editor:
Well, Belize it or not, another tourist season just around the corner. I know that to many it certainly doesn’t feel like it but September is almost gone and October will fly by and it will be back to business as usual here on the island. We are all excited that Southwest Airlines will be starting flights to Belize as early as Oct. 15th! The question that remains is what changes will we see based on last season’s tourist complaints? Anything? Or are we living like the turtles, burying our heads in the sand in hopes the issues will be gone and no-one will bring them up again. Talking about it NOW makes it a PRO-active situation and not a RE-active one that is often too late.
1) The Sargasso is everywhere, have we learned anything from our neighboring countries and how to contain it? We all drive around with bandannas over our faces or holding our noses but what in reality can be done? Mexico is working very hard to keep their beaches clean AND building new beaches or extending existing ones by using sand to fill over the nasty smelly stuff. Are we?
2) I talked with a tourist who took advantage of low season rates here last week. She and her husband stayed far north BUT they opted to leave after staying a day at a private rental due to as she explained it “Sargasso so bad that it had brought in tons of dead fish and garbage so that you couldn’t even stand to take a breath”. Now THAT will affect rentals trust me, more money lost if we don’t get a handle on it and fast.
3) Are we going to be bombarded again by the constant letters to the paper and Mayor about the traffic, fast driving taxis and garbage again? Aren’t we all just a bit tired of this? It seems like the complaints are endless, then we think it just goes away only to come back again with a new season.
So WHAT are the plans for this upcoming season? Didn’t we learn from last year? What happened to the Mayors idea he boasted about in moving all traffic with the exception of carts and scooters off Barrier Reef Drive and the large delivery trucks only in the early morning hours? Is that still on the table? If so, don’t you think it would be wise to get that started so that everyone has a chance to get into that habit instead of trying to figure out where to park, walk or what time deliveries are made when we have thousands of tourists walking around?
Has this island become the land of “Let’s just see what happens?” If so that’s sad and more people will continue to go to other Caribbean destinations.
/s/L. Perdue

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