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Apr 13, 2018

Behind Gaudy B.T.B. Tourism Arrival Stats

If the Belize Tourism Board’s statistics are to be believed, then Belize is a more popular place to visit than ever. Just this past March alone, more than fifty-five thousand overnight visitors touched down on the Jewel’s shores – that is about one in every seven of Belize’s actual population of around three hundred and fifty thousand. Overnight arrivals for that month grew by nearly a quarter compared to the same period in 2017. And cruise ship arrivals grew by more than four and a half percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 2017, with nearly four hundred thousand visitors – slightly more than Belize’s total population. So are the figures being overestimated? The B.T.B.’s Marketing and Public Relations Manager Jocelle Stephen told us that their figures are compiled through the Immigration Department and represent the actual number of stamps from visitors by air, sea and land. She also tells us where they’re coming from.

 

Jocelle Stephen

Jocelle Stephen, Marketing and Public Relations, B.T.B.

“Our statistics – it’s in collaboration with our Immigration and Port Authority. So at all of the entry points, data is collected and this is shared with us and we compile on a monthly basis and we disseminate on a quarterly basis.”

 

Aaron Humes

“And it’s not possible that there may be double counting or that sort of thing?”

 

Jocelle Stephen

“No; we are very careful and we don’t release until these are checked and verified, so we are confident in what we are reporting.  We do believe that this is in recognition of all the efforts that has been done not only by the B.T.B. but our industry partners. We can’t forget the fact that the hoteliers, the B.H.A., the B.T.I.A., all play a part in marketing our destination. In terms of where they are coming from, the U.S.A. remains our largest source market. We have, however, seen an increase from some of the European sub-markets. Germany, for example, had thirty-three percent growth, Netherlands had fifty-something percent growth, so we’re seeing that our marketing reach has definitely spread in terms of the arrivals that we are seeing by market segmentation.”

 

Overall, overnight arrivals grew by twenty-two-point-five percent cumulatively in 2018 compared to 2017. Other markets showing growth include Canada, with more than forty percent more arrivals thanks to the recently launched Air Canada route from Toronto, which joins the WestJet route from Calgary, and South America through COPA Airlines from Panama.

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