Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, People & Places, Regional / International » Cruise Tourism in Belize on steady decline
Nov 17, 2011

Cruise Tourism in Belize on steady decline

The high season in tourism is kicking in just as the figures for the third quarter are being released. The industry is one of the top income earners so the numbers are closely watched. The stats show that for the period July to September, there was a small increase in arrivals and overnight stays. Cruise ship tourism, however, did not fare well and the number of visitors went down significantly in the third quarter. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has that report.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Recent statistics on the performance of the tourism sector in the third quarter of this year indicate that cruise tourism in Belize is on a steady decline.  In July and August there were twelve percent and eleven percent decreases in the number of arrivals, respectively.

Michael Arana

Much of what is happening, in terms of the irregularity of arrivals, is being attributed to the tender crisis which erupted in early January.

Michael Arana, Tourism Data Analyst, B.T.B.

“The cruise arrival figures have been unpredictable since the beginning of the year.  At the beginning of the year, in January, we had a problem with the Carnival Cruise Line in terms of this cruise tender issue and we started to see some significant decreases there because they started to cancel some of their ships.  Since then the trend has been erratic, some months we see increases [and] some months we see decreases.  It has been quite unpredictable but we are looking forward to increases in the third quarter largely because were entering into the high season and normally we see a lot of promotional activity and also the climate in this region begins to become more favorable for travel.”

While the industry attempts to recover from the hardships faced during the first three months of 2011 figures for September also reflect a six percent reduction in arrivals.  Since the beginning of the year arrivals have been down ten percent altogether, including the threat of Hurricane Rina last month which saw several ships being canceled.  The overnight sector, on the other hand, is performing well.

Michael Arana

“Weve seen some slight increases in the overnight sector and well the overnight sector is the most important sector for us because the average daily expenditure of the overnight tourist is significantly higher than that of the single day visitor or the cruise visitor.  So when we release the statistics quarterly the focus is on the performance of the overnight sector and from what I can see so far we seem to be headed towards figures that are close to the pre-crisis period of 2008.”

In 2008, prior to the global economic meltdown, a little under two hundred thousand overnight tourists passed through the country.  Those numbers have changed considerably, greatly impacting revenue generated from the industry.  Arana says that while the figures show a slight increase it is difficult, at this point, to measure the growth in dollars and cents.

Michael Arana

“That is difficult to assess because in terms of the revenue generated we look largely at the accommodation sector.  We look at taxes.  The Revenue Collection Department does a very good job of keeping on track with the revenue collection in terms of the taxes; however, one of the other indicators is the hotel occupancy and we have been behind in terms of compiling the statistics for the accommodation sector, for example, we are only up to, I think, the second quarter occupancy for this year because of some data entry backlogs that we had.  But, we have seen increases in the hotel occupancy and that is largely tied into the overnight sector because obviously the overnight visitors they stay in paid accommodations.  So once you see increases in the overnight sector arrivals you usually normally see increases in hotel occupancy as well.”

The fourth quarter which begins and ends during the high season is also expected to see another favorable increase in overnight arrivals.

Michael Arana

“In terms of forecast I would say that I can reasonably predict a three percent increase possibly in the overnight because this is what we have seen so far this year and its also in line with the United Nations World Tourism Organizations forecast for global tourism.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Be Sociable, Share!


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

13 Responses for “Cruise Tourism in Belize on steady decline”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    ARE WE SURPRISED???? Tourism is a SERVICE INDUSTRY, and YOU HAVE TO TREAT PEOPLE RIGHT OR THEY WILL NOT RETURN AND TELL THEIR FRIENDS NOT TO COME.

    Setting-up drug dealers to bust tourists for a little weed is NOT the way to go.

  2. Storm says:

    The world economy remains very bad, so it is natural that luxuries like cruise tourism continue to suffer. Too many people everywhere are out of work or afraid of their economic future! Countries like Belize that bet their prosperity on luxuries have to suffer in times like these.

    We have to tighten our national belt to survive this situation, but we also need to have a new national strategy. We need to diversify, and get in foreign investment in non-traditional industries, if possible. We have advantages — lots of land relative to our population, and we are mostly English-speaking, which is a real practical advantage in world business.

    WE JUST NEED LEADERS WITH THE VISION AND THE ENERGY TO CHART A NEW DIRECTION AND WORK TO MOVE US THERE!

  3. Rod says:

    Change this useless corrupt pm and gov. And you will see a boom in more tourism murderers need to be hung .

  4. Marie says:

    what else did they expect with so many beggars and hustlers leeching on to them as they touch queen street?

  5. Bulba Martinez says:

    I agree with you Marie. We are afraid to live in our own country, why should foreigners visit Belize when we are internationally known as home terrorists?

  6. Elgin Martinez says:

    The PM already got his and he cares less about the direction our Jewel is going.

  7. Sugar says:

    Am from OW and I just go to Bze City when I absolutely HAVE to….U cyant park anywhere without a monster begging fu one dalla or asking to keep an eye pan U vehicle. I agree with Marie above…beggars and hustlers are a hindrance to tourism……if I were a tourist, I would NOT cum back!!

  8. ABC says:

    The only thing not declining in our Belize is crime and gas prices, all prices for that matter.

  9. Get it right says:

    The main culprit in this is the world economy and the shaky job situation in the USA along with uncertainty in the stock markets in New york are contributing to the lower arrivals. Its pretty good that the overnight arrivals have increased given the situation, but many Americans have lost their jobs and as of recent many are worried about their jobs. This causes a chain reaction in spending power of the avaerage american which results in less vacations away from their country especially in terms of cruises. Thus resulting in less arivals here via the cruise ship. That is just plain old basic economics for you. The country has done well to survive the economic crisis. Once the economy starts to rebound, we will see record numbers in tourism. On our end, we need to be more professional in terms of our guides, and demeanor. Taxi men are not guides. Be professional in our mannerisms, physical appearance and how the Tourism village is operated. Stop allowing the everyday, drunken and high, hustlers to go in there and bombard the tourists.

  10. MADDYVANDIJKDERELISTO says:

    Beggers and hustlers on the streets of Belize has very little to do with the decline of tourism. beggars and hustlers are worldwide at tourists destinations, i should know.

    Belize is listed as one of the most dangerous countries in the world, and the economy is bad, the standards of service is bad, and crimes are like the common flu.

    Tourists are avoiding Belize because it’s dangerous, and the government are a bunch of rats running political parties.

  11. CEO says:

    So Mr. “Get it Right” you made no mention of the crime rate in Belize and its negative impact on tourism. Are you suggesting that this decline is soley because or global economics?

    I give credence to all of what you said and for sure those have all negatively impacticted tourism in Belize, perhaps even more so than the crime rate, but to suggest (by omission) that the rate of crime has no negative effect on tourism is a bit myopic.

    I would suggest that the rate of crime does not only negatively impact tourism but it has stymied local business which is even more detrimental to the local economy.

  12. Manuel Almendar says:

    IT IS ALL SO SIMPLE TO SEE BUT WE DON`T WANT TO ACCEPT IT, CRIME IS COLLAPSING THIS NATION, PERIOD !!!
    SORRY TO SAY BUT MY PARTY BARROW NEEDS TO RESIGN IMMEDIATELY, OR WE WILL BE SO DOOMED !!!
    EVEN TOURISTS WON`T RISK THEIR LIVES TO COME SE A BUNCH OF CRIMINALS IN THE STREETS OF BELIZE !!!

  13. Sooooo says:

    I could do without cruise tourism. Get rid of the plague and dirty money maker. Was never a good idea for Belize.

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*