On Friday June 8th 2012, Tracy Panton, CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, signed a contract for BZ $142,130.16 with Mr. Liam Stewart of Cayo Steel Works for the construction of the new Xunantunich ferry.
The new ferry will retain much of the characteristics of the iconic hand-cranked ferry which has faithfully served tourists and local visitors for over three decades. The ferry currently transports around 50, 000 visitors a year and up to 300 visitors a day on peak days, with the assistance of the strong arms of the Institute of Archaeology ferry captains! Funded through the Sustainable Tourism Program (STP) the new ferry will have a larger capacity to assist visitor flow, incorporate improved safety measures and include motorized assistance to the traditional hand-crank operations.
Cayo Steel Works Ltd. was incorporated in Belize in 2001, and has vast experience as a local supplier and manufacturer of steel engineered products. Mr. Stewart is excited to be selected for this project and has his materials ready to go, with completion and final installation of the ferry anticipated within 3 months.