The Minister of Tourism & Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the Belize Tourism Board, extended a warm welcome to the 80 delegates attending the Platinum Associate Membership Advisory Council (PAMAC) Cruise Conference, hosted by the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), from June 19th -23rd, 2013.
To foster the sustainable development of Belize’s cruise industry, the BTB is partnering with the FCCA to execute one of its premiere events, PAMAC Cruise Conference. The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 15 Member Cruise Lines operating more than 100 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. Over 80 FCCA Platinum Members, whose importance in the cruise and tourism industry cannot be overstated, and over 20 cruise executives congregated on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and Belize City. The principal purpose of FCCA’s PAMAC Platinum Event was to discuss trends, develop ideas, and promote existing cruise destinations. The Conference also served to develop lasting and worthwhile business relationships with some of the most significant decision makers in the cruise tourism industry.
Belize is now considered a key cruise destination on the Western Caribbean cruise circuit, welcoming well over 600,000 cruise visitors in 2012 to its Belize City Port. This ranks Belize as 7th out of 21 Caribbean Cruise Destinations in terms of the volume of passenger arrivals. Noting the critical socio-economic importance of Cruise Tourism to the country, the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan aims to achieve enhanced cruise destinations, where a properly managed cruise sector is expected to have an average compound growth rate of 3.8%, reaching 1.5 million cruise passenger visits by 2030. This will translate into more job opportunities as well as increased tourism revenues.