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Feb 8, 2013

Tourism stats show 10% increase

The Belize Tourism Board has released its tourism arrival numbers for 2012. On the bright side, there is an upward trend in overnight stays, but numbers went down in cruise ship arrivals. But generally, the industry notes a ten point seven percent increase overall. Duane Moody reports. 

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

A remarkable year for Belize’s Tourism Industry; that’s the report coming out of the B.T.B. today after a tally of all the overnight, airport and cruise arrivals to the jewel. The numbers were crunched and the tourism sector has experienced a ten point seven percent increase when compared to 2011. The increase has surpassed projections, says Tourism Director, Laura Esquivel Frampton.

 

Laura Esquivel Frampton

Laura Esquivel Frampton, Director of Tourism

“At our industry presentation, we hinted to being able to release these results; of course, that is because at that time, we already knew the international airport results. But we compiled it all together with the land borders and that takes a little bit more time to gather. We had hinted that we knew for sure that we had reached the ten percent increase over the previous year mark. But we are excited to say that we surpassed that a little bit more than we expected and we ended with an overall ten point seven percent increase in overnight arrivals to Belize for the period 2012.”

 

There is an overall twenty-six thousand eight hundred and seventy-two overnight visitors more than 2011; recording a total of two hundred and seventy-seven thousand one hundred and thirty-five tourists for the entire year. March and December saw the most overnight arrivals. But there has been a decrease by twelve percent in cruise ship arrivals. This, Esquivel Frampton says, affects vendors and independent tour operators.

 

Laura Esquivel Frampton

“Clearly for the industry it is good; it means heads in beds, it means persons in restaurants, it means persons taking tours; it means overall increase and sustainability of jobs in the tourism sector if we can continue seeing these numbers.  While we tout and celebrate the overnight arrivals, we remain concerned about the cruise arrivals and we are working very diligently to ensure that we see growth in that market as well.”

 

Regionally, Belize topped its competitors in overnight arrivals despite of challenges in the cruise tourism sector.

 

Laura Esquivel Frampton

“The worldwide rate was something like two point five percent increase in tourism. Definitely in this region and Central America, the average was about four to four point five percent. Belize was one of the outliners. Whereas now our tourism numbers tend to annually be less comparatively, the percentage wise, we have been one of the outliers in those figures showing the numbers. As you can see with the cruise arrivals compared to other similar ports, we are almost in line with what those ports are doing.”

 

Frampton says that the B.T.B. is currently in the budgeting process and is predicting a four percent increase, which the B.T.B. intends to surpass. Duane Moody for News Five.

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3 Responses for “Tourism stats show 10% increase”

  1. Bear says:

    I look around the Jewel, and can’t believe this good news. Maybe they are counting Guat goldminers as tourists.

  2. Sharkie says:

    Last year, I visited the jewel after many years of residing in the United States. Belize is beautiful and I plan to retire there. However, one thing that I would like the government to address is reconstructing the Phillip Goldson International Airport. I brought my mom with me and she barely could walk down the stairs of the airplane. It should be remodelled and upgraded where the parked airplane leads to the building. If we are to be competitive in the tourism industry (like Jamaica and the other Islands/Central American countries) we must slowly rebuild and modernize our home.

  3. Storm says:

    It’s hard to accept this report, because ON THE SAME DAY the Statistical Institute released figures that UNEMPLOYMENT has risen to 16.1% “due to downturns in tourism . . . ”

    WHAT’S THE TRUTH?

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