Travel Company Comments
I am happy to hear that overall you enjoyed your visit to our lovely country and that you were satisfied with the planning, organizing, and customer service that I provided you with for this trip. My aim is always to do everything in my power to make my guest’s visit to Belize an ideal and unforgettable experience, which is why I was in frequent communication with you during your trip, asking if there was anything that I might do to help make your stay even better.
Regarding the poor service at your hotel – this is a complete shock as they are known for their attentive and personalized service and accommodating staff. I am investigating what is going on out there and have decided not to offer this resort to future clients until I am convinced that the service levels are where they should be again. I appreciate your candid feedback but only wish that you would have allowed me to intercede on your behalf when I checked in with you and you alerted me to the problem, so that we could have tried to improve your experience while you were there.
Unfortunately, Sargassum grass seaweed blooms are among the factors that I cannot control and your trip to Belize coincided with one of the worst blooms that we have experienced in quite some time. Sargassum grass is a naturally occurring seaweed that typically forms in the Gulf of Mexico and then drifts into the Atlantic and the Sargasso Sea, where it forms floating rafts that are vital habitat and sea-creatures such as migrating sea turtles. Typically, that is the end of the plant’s life cycle, but beginning sometime around 2011, blooms began to grow in size and wash up and collect along beaches throughout the Caribbean and Atlantic. It is not known exactly why the blooms have grown in size, but scientists speculate that it’s due to a variety of factors related to climate change and increased nutrient loads in the world’s oceans.
When the sargassum grass washes ashore it builds up along the beaches until it decays, is removed, or more typically, gets washed out to see by a weather event where it finishes breaking down. It’s accumulation is a nuisance to all those that live on or visit the areas where it washes up, as you experienced. Many resorts have hired full time crews dedicated to cleaning it off their beaches during bad blooms, but site-specific removal is not only costly, but also largely ineffective as the bloom will continue to move up and down along the shore until it is completely gone.
At this point in time, it is has not proven possible to predict where or when the weeds will wash up and accumulate or for how long they will be around. This makes it very hard to “forewarn” visitors about this or “steer them away” from weedy areas. I feel terrible that your visit to Belize coincided with a visit from the weeds as well – typically our waters are clear and turquoise and our shorelines glimmer with white coral sand.
Again, I am pleased that overall you feel that “Belize is great”. I would agree.
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