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Jan 10, 2019

Record Number of Tourists Visited Belize in 2018

The Belize Tourism Board has released its stats for the 2018 tourism arrivals. The number of visitors that came to the Jewel grew by sixty-two thousand, a huge increase from the previous year. Cruise tourism also grew by sixteen percent, keeping tourism as the most thriving industry to grow the economy. The months of March and December were the busiest in the industry. News Five’s Duane Moody crunches the numbers.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Belize Tourism Board is recording an outstanding and record-breaking year for tourism arrivals in Belize. According to the statistics released on Wednesday, there was a growth by fourteen point six percent in overnight tourist arrivals when compared to 2017; one of the largest increases in the last decade. March recorded the highest numbers with fifty-four thousand three hundred and forty tourists, following closely behind by December with fifty-four thousand five hundred and fifty-one. The lowest months were September and October with less than twenty-five thousand tourists coming to the Jewel. The team over at B.T.B. were celebrating today.

 

Karen Pike

Karen Pike, Director, Marketing & Industry Relations, B.T.B.

“We are celebrating again with the wonderful news of increases in overnight tourism arrivals as well as cruise tourism arrivals. So for 2018, we were up fourteen point six percent in overnight arrivals looking at a remarkable year of promoting the destination, of getting highlighted in international publications as being one of the best places to travel to and working with our industry partners and stakeholders as well. So we are looking at over sixty-two thousand more people came to Belize during the year.”

 

Cruise tourism numbers were also up by nineteen point one percent over 2017 figures with over one point two million cruise ship passengers visiting the Jewel. This was the result of increased calls to port by additional ships during the year.

 

Karen Pike

“Additional ships were sent to Belize, increasing our scheduled calls and we look forward to getting more in 2019.”

 

Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Karen Pike, says that while Belize did not make the half a million overnight tourists in one year, there are various strategies that will be used to push more tourist arrivals in the country for 2019. Those include the introduction of more flights and tapping into additional markets, targeting specific types of travellers.

 

Karen Pike

“What we’ve done with the U.S. being our main source market is that we have targeted our approach to marketing to specific types of travellers—the ones looking for adventure, the ones looking for guided tours, the ones looking for relaxation as well as spa and wellness and culinary experiences that Belize has to offer. So we’ve really promoted those in the U.S. and then in our other source markets as well, it is being promoted in France, Germany, U.K., Netherlands with our marketing agencies. We’ve been actively pursuing airlines to come to Belize to see what the destination has to offer. We provide them with reports and statistics that actually get them interested in looking at the destination and then they finally make the decision to come. So what we had in 2018, AeroMexico and Sun Country Airlines both decided to have direct flights to Belize—one from Minneapolis and the other from Mexico City. We are looking for more of that in 2019, but we actively pursue airlines to increase airlifts to the destination.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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