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Apr 24, 2013

Tourism dollars and arrivals are up

Statistics for tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2013 have been released and they are quite impressive says the director of the Belize Tourism Board.  The hotel sector alone has registered revenue of approximately sixty million dollars since January with overnight arrivals at an estimated ninety-three thousand visitors.  A new benchmark was also set last month when, for the first time ever, overnight arrivals exceeded thirty-five thousand visitors.  In cruise tourism, there has been notable increase in arrivals despite dull numbers being posted in 2012.  The significant upturn, says Laura Esquivel-Frampton, is the result of the inclusive participation from all stakeholders across the industry.

 

Laura Esquivel-Frampton, Director of Tourism, B.T.B.

“We’re happy to say once again that we have another record breaking month this year. In fact, all of this year so far—January, February and March—have been record breaking in terms of overnight arrivals. Overall, and this includes the airport and all the other ports of entry, January saw seventeen point one eight percent increase, February saw eleven point five nine percent increase and March saw an eleven point zero three percent increase. So cumulatively for the quarter, we are seeing a thirteen point zero two increase in tourism arrivals for the overnight sector. As you are aware, the overnight sector is the biggest income generation in terms of the tourism product for Belize because they stay longer and that means that they are spending more money here. So we are really proud of those numbers and I know that the industry on a whole is happy with those numbers. And then for cruise, we have also been seeing increases. While we can’t say that they are record increases, they are. January we had nineteen point four four percent increase, February we have eleven point three nine percent increase and while March was a smaller increase of only one point three five percent, it is an increase nonetheless. So we think we are back on the right path in terms of growing the cruise tourism product and the cruise tourism visitation. So cumulatively we have a ten point eight percent increase in cruise arrivals for January to March. So we are very happy about that.”

 

Isani Cayetano

Laura Esquivel-Frampton

“What are the projections going forward in terms of arrivals and tourism activity in the country?”

 

Laura Esquivel-Frampton

“Going forward, again, our numbers are looking very solid. We have high hopes within the overnight sector that we will get to that three hundred thousand persons mark which is unheard of in Belize. So we are very hopeful for that. In terms of cruise tourism, our numbers project us at seven hundred thousand or so passengers for the year. Last year we ended at about six hundred and fifty thousand. We do have clearer projections for 2014 in the cruise sector because it is required that the cruise lines actually book their space with us. And so those projections for 2014 for the cruise calendar has us passing the million passenger mark. And primarily the increase tourist arrivals projected for 2014 is in the summer when we need it the most.  It’s a testimony to anyone in the industry from the minister and cabinet, the ministry, the B.T.B. and of course the property owners themselves, the tour operators themselves; everybody coming together when things were not so great and putting it out there; putting in all the extra hard work; putting in the extra hours, visiting who we needed to visit to ensure that Belize would remain front of mine. So that whenever the economy in our main market, the U.S., whenever they rebounded, we would be prepared to take on those guests. And it was a lot of making those connections with travel agents and wholesalers who are very key influencers; even if people do not book with them, they look to them for that advice.”

 

Along with stellar numbers in tourism arrivals to the Jewel so far, the B.T.B. also announced the appointment of its new Cruise and Regional Initiatives Director.  Valdemar Andrade, whose work as Technical Advisor and Project Liaison for the Sustainable Tourism Program caught the attention of B.T.B. directors, has been selected to assist in the development of cruise tourism initiatives and programs.

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6 Responses for “Tourism dollars and arrivals are up”

  1. Rum Drum says:

    PUP, Belize Times and Belize Chamber of Commerce are supposed to say tourism is down

  2. Jake says:

    All Belize needs to DO NOW is LEGALIZE marijuana and they can forget about OIL all the waste of resources chasing Smokers then concentrate on DRUGS that destroy people like crack, cocaine, and especially crystal meth, it is my belief this last drug is the real violent poison that rules our young.
    It is easier to clean up after a tourist than ANY OIL SPILL! Instead of BUSTING A TOURIST FOR SMOKING encourage them to come where is is COOL to have a Beliken and Joint.

  3. twosweetinez says:

    What’s the point?Belizeans are still suffering from hunger and unemployment.

  4. Rod says:

    Tourist stay away from Belize you will end up robbed or shot to death or raped go somewhere else.

  5. Storm says:

    Hard to see the reality of “tourism is up” on the ground, because most people I know are hurting worse this year than last year. Maybe it’s just depression from the hopelessness of what Belize has been made into.

  6. Small Hotel says:

    Where are the tourists going? To minister Heredias San Pedro. They are not in my hotel that is for sure. Scraping to make ends meet. We need to develope other districts for tourism instead of everything going to Ambergris.

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