By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB), held a press conference on Saturday morning to publicly voice its discontent with the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH).
FECTAB representatives met at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, to address several concerns, including: seemingly preferential treatment to foreign-owned tour companies, the need for more meaningful infrastructure at the Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Site, and what they feel is disrespect by public officials.
FECTAB said that NICH imposes rules on their operators that other companies, such as Chukka and Dark Knight Cave Tubing are exempt from. These include the eight-persons-per-tour-guide rule. They also added that the government has changed the name of an entire cave system to accommodate a foreign operator.
“They changed the name now from whatever it was called before to Dark Knight Cave System,” FECTAB said.“
They also said that the road to Nohoch Che’en was poorly constructed, and was used as an election gimmick. Yohnny Rosado, a member of FECTAB, pointed out that the old road was constructed with over two inches of hot mix, but the new road, damaged in only four months, is less than an inch thick.
After their complaints, they presented several recommendations they said they hoped GOB would follow up on, including constructing a play area for children at Nohoch Che’en and properly paving the road.