With the momentum and guidance provided under the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (NSTMP) and in collaboration with the Belize Tourism Board’s Marketing Plan 2016-17, the next two decades offer a unique opportunity for Belize to build upon its strengths and to take advantage of the strategic opportunities presented.
The works achieved in the past 5 years is the foundation for continued tourism success. This can be measured through an increase in visitor arrivals in 2015.
Under programs such as the Belize Rural Development Program (BRDP), archaeological and historical sites received needed upgrades to facilitate visits through the “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites” project.
The United States is our largest tourism market, accounting for 63.1 % of overall arrivals to Belize in 2015 while the European market (the second largest) accounted for 12%.
Even following such unprecedented growth in 2016, the latest statistics for the first quarter of 2017 indicate that tourism arrivals in Belize continue to register a small but steady increase.
This underscores the hard work and dedication of our tourism stakeholders and the fact that Belize continues to attract travelers, as a growing and popular world tourism destination.
Overnight Arrivals continue on a positive trajectory
The overnight tourism sector continues on a positive trajectory in 2017, with increases in each of the first three months of the year, leading to an overall 2.7% increase at the end of March 2017.
The month of March is traditionally the apex of the tourism season. In March of 2016, there was a record number of tourist arrivals totaling over 43,000 visitors.
However, this record was surpassed in March 2017, with over 44,400 tourist visitors, making this the highest number of tourist arrivals ever recorded in a single month.
Cruise Passenger Arrivals register a positive first quarter
An overall increase of 8.7% in cruise passenger arrivals was recorded for the first three months of 2017.
With an increase of 24.2% and 22.7% in January and February 2017 respectively, along with a short decline of 13.1 % in March 2017, the total number of cruise ship passengers registered in the first quarter of 2017 surpassed that of 2016, giving a positive outlook for Belize’s cruise tourism for the remainder of this year.
These successes are accredited to the vigorous marketing and product development efforts of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and its Stakeholders in the tourism industry.
With similar efforts and ongoing collaboration throughout 2017, it is expected that these increasing trends will continue both in the overnight and cruise sectors for the remainder of 2017 and beyond.
Belize is seeing a continued surge in tourism growth, according to the destinations’ year-end numbers.
Belize reported 385,583 overnight tourist arrivals in 2016, a 13 percent increase over 2015, the Belize Tourism Board said in a report.
That came after Belize grew by 6.2 percent in 2015 and 9.2 percent in 2014.
The 13 percent improvement was the fastest growth of any tourism destination in the Caribbean last year, a total increase of 44,422 visitors year-over-year.
“These successes are credited to the vigorous marketing, product development and expansion efforts of the Stakeholders in the industry and, with similar efforts and collaboration continuing into 2017, it is expected to see these increasing trends continue,” the tourism board said in a statement.
The destination was boosted last year by new flights from Canadian carrier WestJet, which began Toronto-Belize City flights in October, and Panama-based Copa.
Belize should also get a boost this year with the debut of the Naia Resort and the planned launch of the Itz’ana beach resort.