Tourism expected to boost with end of the Maya calendar
As the countdown to 2012 takes place, there’s worldwide focus on the end of the five thousand, one hundred and twenty-five year Mayan calendar. Some believe it is the end of the world while others consider it the start of a new era. In Belize, 2012 is expected to be a big year for tourism since the jewel sits in the heart of the Mundo Maya. SmarterTravel.com has listed the Mundo Maya countries among the top destinations to watch for 2012. Those include Belize along with Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. According to Smarter Travel, “themed tours and ceremonies throughout the year offer a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the ancient archeological sites and modern culture of the Maya people. In Belize, Maya cultural festivities include traveling exhibitions, a solstice sleepover at Caracol, and a large festival on December twenty-first, the estimated last day of the calendar.” To live up to those expectations, the Belize Tourism Board and NICH have announced big plans for the coming year to give visitors the Maya experience they will undoubtedly be seeking. According to the B.T.B., a packed calendar of Maya themed events is available online at belizemaya2012.com. Also, for the first time a Maya 2012 passport has been developed and is available to travelers until December twenty-first 2012. The passports cost twenty-five US dollars and will be stamped upon visiting each of the archeological sites. The annual La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is also expected to bigger and better in 2012. And even the Central Bank is commemorating the countdown to December twenty-first 2012, by offering twenty-two carat gold proof and sterling Maya Mythical “End of the World” coins, starting in January.