Tourism Arrivals Continue on Growth Path
Belize City, Tuesday, July 19th, 2005 – Tourism arrivals for the period January – May, 2005, shows a better than expected start to the summer season as Belize has been welcoming an increasing number of visitors via the land border points, cruise ship port, and the international airport.
According to the monthly tourism data retrieved from the Immigration Department, total tourism arrivals (exclusive of cruise passengers), from all border points for the period January - May, 2005 grew by 4.0%, accounting for 114,722 overnight stays.
In terms of Belize’s key port of entry, the Philip Goldson International Airport documented 86,864 visitors for January – May 2005 compared to 79,394 for the same period last year. This represents a 9.4% increase. During this period, the cruise sector welcomed 218 ships to Belize’s port, accounting for 435,583 passengers. This accounts for a 10.2% increase.
“In this transparent internet environment, consumers have more travel choices than ever before,” comments Tourism Director, Tracy Taegar-Panton. “Belize is a unique destination and is fast becoming a popular destination in the United States. We continue our marketing efforts in growing this viable market, as well as building ties with strategic partners,” Taegar-Panton went on to say.
During the Travel Industry Association’s (TIA’s) highly anticipated Summer Travel Forecast, Dr. Suzanne Cook, TIA’s senior vice-president, Research, told reporters that Americans will be traveling in record numbers this summer. Dr. Cook also stated that Americans will take 328 million leisure person-trips during the months of June, July, and August and every sector of the travel industry will be up. This can be beneficial, as Belize’s primary market is the United States. In 2004 alone, Americans accounted for 76.8% of all tourist visitors through the international airport.