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Did more people or less people come to Belize this year?

10 October 2013 No Comment

Maths Quizzes We Love! 

OK, quick quiz. 

Did more people or less people come to Belize this year? 

And the winner is… 

More. 

Yep, according to the good folks at The Belize Tourism Board, who get paid to keep track of such things, overnight visitor arrivals for the period of  January to August for this year have improved over last year. For example, in January, February and March, the increase was 17.2%, 14.3%, and 13.0% respectively, and 8% for both July and August.

This is good news, and The Belize Tourism Board released the information in much the same way it was received by tourism industry stakeholders – with big smiles across the faces. We are growing as an overnight tourism destination, attracting the sort of people who stay longer, spend more money, and get to know Belize and Belizeans better.jungleandseaimage2

For the entire eight months, 17, 228 more tourists arrived this year as compared to last year, and 7 News Belize reports that the BTB  is  confident that Belize will reach the three hundred thousand visitor overnight mark.

We admit to being partial to overnight visitors – the ones who spend a bit more time and money getting to know Belize and presumably return home with stories of how much they loved it here. In fact, we would venture to say that Belize has some of the best word of mouth advertising of any country anywhere. People, by and large, love it here. And then they tell their friends.

Now, in cruise tourism, according to 7 News Belize, the numbers lagged behind last year’s for May, June, and July. But according to according to the BTB, August saw a substantial increase of 30.2%, putting the total 8 months for 2013 at an increase of 5.3% as compared to last year.

So not to worry, we’re still selling those “My grandparents visited Belize and all they bought me was this lousy tee shirt.” People are getting their hair plaited, happy snaps are being snapped and the cruise ship crowd is arriving.

But what we love is the rise in numbers of overnight visitors. These are the people who made Belize what it is today, who stayed at local places, ate in local restaurants, got to know Belizeans, liked what they saw and found the place fascinating. And then went home and told their friends about it. Who did the same thing the next year. And suddenly, it was cool to plan a vacation to Belize, a place a few decades ago most people didn’t know existed.

Something’s working.

Anyway, and in a nutshell, more people are visiting Belize this year than they were last year. And in a country where most people now make their living from tourism, this is good news indeed.

So thanks for the good news BTB – and 7 News Belize – and keep up the good work.

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