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Jan 27, 2016

2015 Was a Stellar Year in Tourism

While crime has been tainting Belize as a tourist destination, 2015 was a stellar year for tourism in Belize, as the number of visitors in both the cruise and overnight sectors continued to grow considerably.  Notwithstanding shaky first and second quarter figures, the better part of last year saw steady increases in overnight arrivals.  December alone saw thirty-nine thousand, nine hundred and seventy-seven overnight visitors, a record for such arrivals.  While there was a negligible decrease of one percent in the cruise sector, a total of nine hundred and fifty-seven thousand, nine hundred and seventy-five cruise passengers disembarked in Belize.  The statistics, according to Marketing and Public Relations Manager, are noteworthy.

 

Noriko Gamero

Noriko Gamero, Marketing & PR Manager, B.T.B.

“We went up six point two percent in overnight arrivals.  We had, the last seven months were a positive increase with the last couple of months showing extraordinary numbers.  We had September with a nineteen point three [percent] increase.  October had twenty-two, November thirty-three and December a twenty-two point five.  And I must mention that November was an extraordinary thirty-three percent increase which historically never goes over ten percent.  So we are very happy with the overnight arrivals.  We had also an increase in the airlift which was seven percent in travelers by the airport.  We were very ecstatic.  And in the cruise, we had a dip of one percent.  And I think you [Javier Paredes] might be able to give a little more insight into that one.”

 

Javier Paredes

Javier Paredes, Director of Business Development, B.T.B.

“It’s a dip, it’s a dip but really it requires some explanation.  In 2013, cruise arrivals were around seven hundred and fifty thousand.  They took a steep increase in 2014 to about nine hundred and sixty-eight thousand and part of it was B.T.B.’s marketing efforts, engagement of the cruise lines.  But also it touched on redeployment from the Mediterranean area to the Western Caribbean.  So redeployments normally happen off and on, so that big increase from seven hundred and fifty [thousand] to nine hundred and sixty-eight, last year 2015, we managed to sustain it.  Even though we had a one percent decrease, our numbers are still at nine hundred thousand plus.”

 

In December, Belize also received the newest cruise line, MSC Divina.  

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