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Nov 22, 2019

The Tourism Trends in Belize

In early November, the Belize Tourism Board released its mid-year insight into tourism performance for the Jewel. And while there are some ups and downs, the industry continues to boom. Overnight stays and the cruise tourism industry continue to be a driving force behind the record numbers over the years and while for the past three consecutive years there have been double digit increases, the projection is that the figures might be lower this year. News Five’s Duane Moody reports on the tourism trends.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Belize Tourism Board has partnered with the Statistical Institute of Belize and the Central Bank to get a better understanding of tourist experience and what travellers both local and international are looking for when they visit the country.  The mid-year-trend for 2019 gives a better idea of tourist visitor profile including their length of stay and what peaks their interests in the Jewel.

 

Misty Michael

Misty Michael, Director of Marketing & Industry Relations, B.T.B.

“The tourism industry did experience three consecutive years of double digit growth. This year, for the last few months, we have seen some slowdown, but we do anticipate growth nonetheless within the industry come the year’s end. It’s not going to be as large as what we’ve seen in the past three years, but the trends that we are seeing locally are also being experienced across the region. Some of the factors that have affected the industry include the 737 max planes that were taken off the market, sargassum, the issues with the UK and BREXIT, the U.S. economy and as you know when there are economic issues, that tends to make travellers a little bit more conscientious of how they are spending their disposable income.”

 

Nevertheless, the statistics show that travellers are choosing Belize as a favourite destination to visit. The United States continues to be the largest market for overnight arrivals to the country and the region, but Director of Marketing and Industry Relations Misty Michael says that they are looking to tap into other markets.

 

Misty Michael

“Overnight arrivals continue to grow and that’s due in large part to a lot of the efforts that we have been making internationally, working with our international agencies in the U.S., in Mexico, South America; in Europe. We are also looking at Canada which has a lot of growth potential. We have direct flights from West Jet and Air Canada that come in seasonally. We have a marketing agency in Mexico that we are working with and one in South America that is working with five core countries.”

 

The cruise tourism industry continues to grow and is a big contributor to the industry success. But is the country able to accommodate the influx of additional carriers flying here.

 

Misty Michael

“There is some work currently being done at the airport to expand not only the arrivals area, but the departure because as you said we constantly have new flights entering the market. And I think being able to accommodate the tourists as well into the overnight sector, there are a lot of new developments that are taking place in terms of additional capacity to house overnight tourists across the country.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


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