Belize Tourism Enjoys Rise in First Half of 2014
New figures show a significant rise in tourist arrivals to Belize during the first half of 2014 in what the Lodge at Chaa Creek hails as further proof that Belize is maturing as a premier holiday destination, providing benefits for both visitors and locals alike.
Citing a recent article in Belize’s Amandala newspaper, which used statistics released by the Belize Tourism Board, Chaa Creek’s co-owner and GM Lucy Fleming said that continued strong growth in the tourism sector is providing benefits across Belize’s economy and society, benefits that will in turn continue to make Belize more attractive to travellers.
“Belize’s economy is now tourism-oriented, so a rise in visitor numbers translates into a healthier, happier society, making Belize even more attractive,” Ms Fleming said.
“In short, more tourists mean a stronger tourism product, which will in turn attract more tourists. It’s a very positive, self-perpetuating cycle,” she added.
The Amandala article, “Belize Draws 29.3% More Tourists For First half of 2014” (July 18, 2014) noted that “Belize continues to draw more tourists to its shores, with overnight tourist arrivals up 11.8% and cruise tourist arrivals up 36.9% for the first half of 2014, according to data released this evening by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB).
“That translates to 141,921 more cruise tourists and 19,693 more overnight tourists compared to the first six months of 2013, or an overall sector growth of 29.3%,” the report concludes.
Ms Fleming said that tourism industry stakeholders across the country are buoyed by the figures.
“We’ve been calling this the ‘Belize Miracle’, which doesn’t seem like an exaggeration when you consider this growth in light of the relative youth of Belize’s tourism industry, and the lack of large marketing budgets and established name recognition other regional destinations enjoyed,” she said.
Ms Fleming pointed out that when Belize became independent in 1981, the tiny country was virtually unknown in tourism circles. Positive word of mouth and the individual marketing efforts of private businesses fuelled the nascent Belize brand, she explained
Amandala and other Belizean media highlighting the strong growth this week, which also showed that the United States continues to be the biggest market, with an increase of 11.8% this year, followed by Europe(23.2% ) and Canada , with a 6.4% rise in visitors.
Arrivals at Belize’s Philip Goldson International airport were also up by 11% for January to June 2014, with 14,011 more tourists passing through the gates.
Ms Fleming said that Belize’s success has been the result of government and private sectors working together to create a unique product and then sharing the work of marketing it.
“Belize became independent in 1981, and In the early days, government and private individuals worked together and shared ideas to develop the new tourism industry into something unique, and the travelling public responded.
“As the new half-yearly figures from the BTB show, Belize’s popularity is showing no signs of slowing down, and that’s good news for the many families tourism supports, and for travellers looking to spend their holidays in a pristine, friendly country that offers so much,” Ms Fleming said.