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#141038 - 01/06/02 07:09 AM Questions for everyone of TOURISM
CoeyCoey Offline
Oops, typo! Thats suppose to say on tourism!

Hello everyone,

I would like to get everyone's opinion on the current state of tourism after the 9-11 attacks and the recent hurricane. I would like opinions from tour operators, resort owners, residents, and those who have recently visited.

All help will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Coe

[This message has been edited by CoeyCoey (edited 01-05-2002).]

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#141039 - 01/06/02 09:51 PM Re: Questions for everyone of TOURISM
rickcheri Offline
As far as i'm concerned..tourism is great!!!! Seems to be my message! Jim-i hope the weather in SP is as GREAT as it is here. RIGHT NOW!!!..We miss you ALL!!! C&R

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#141040 - 01/06/02 10:01 PM Re: Questions for everyone of TOURISM
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
This poll of tourism operators and hotel owners was done in late November. Since then, my impression from talking to hotel people is that things on the mainland, specifically in Cayo where bookings in late January through March are really slow, have gotten worse, but that hotels on Ambergris Caye are doing better. Placencia is still really suffering. "Fringe" areas such as Corozal and PG are doing almost no business.

Keep in mind when you hear from hotel operators that some tend to overstate the positive -- they don't want to set a negative tone.

--Lan Sluder

>>

New Poll: 70% of Belize Hotels Report Travel Bookings Down
--Tourism Could Fall 20% in 2002--

A survey of more than 30 Belize hotel operators around the country by BELIZE FIRST Editor Lan Sluder has found that about seven in 10 of the hotels report bookings for the 2002 high season are down, compared with the same period last year.

Based on projections by hotels in Belize and on trends in international air travel, plus the lingering impact of Hurricane Iris on Placencia area hotels, tourism in Belize is likely to be off by about 20% next year, according to estimates by knowledgeable observers and projections from hoteliers.

If there's good news, it is that Christmas bookings are holding up fairly well, with few cancellations reported by hotel operators. Some hotels, especially on Ambergris Caye, are fully booked for the holidays.

Of hotels surveyed in November, about 70% report that bookings for the first four months of 2002, Belize's high tourist season, are down from the same period last year. The percentage decline ranges from a very little to "big time," as one lodge operator in Cayo put it. Another hotel manager in northern Belize reports a decline in bookings of more than 90%. Only one hotel, on Caye Caulker, predicted an up year, while about 22% felt that future reservations were flat or about the same as last year.

Airlines flying into Belize and Central America say international travel has declined by 25% or more since the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. American, which serves Belize City from Dallas-Fort Worth and Miami, reported a 32.9% decline in international seat miles for November, though figures for the Belize routes weren't available. A seat mile is one passenger flown one mile.

Most Belize hotels, however, say that bookings for the Christmas-New Year period are strong, with few cancellations. U.S. airlines also report that holiday air travel levels will be close to that of last year, despite the slowing economy and the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. "The events of September 11th gave us a bad October and November, but the future doesn't look as bad as I originally thought -- presently we seem to be getting more Europeans than usual for this time of the year which is making up for the reduced amount of Americans traveling," says one Belize City hotel operator.

The exception for Belize is the Placencia peninsula and nearby areas, where Hurricane Iris cleanup and rebuilding continues in Placencia and Seine Bight villages, and where some parts of the peninsula still do not have pipe water or land telephones. While most of the resorts north of Placencia village, including well-known places such as Inn at Robert's Grove and Kitty's Place, have reopened, the lack of e-mail and telephone access since the October 8 storm and reluctance by tourists to book into an area devastated by a hurricane means that holiday tourism levels will be very low compared with the last few years. This is true also in Toledo district, but that area gets relatively few visitors even in an ordinary year.

Overall, unless conditions change significantly in early 2002, next year could see a one-fifth drop in international arrivals in Belize. This would be the biggest year-to-year drop in tourism ever recorded. A large upswing in cruise ship arrivals will partly offset this drop in air and land arrivals, but the positive impact will be felt mostly in Belize City and among the small group of tour operators serving the cruise market.

"Things have slowed down big time, but I anticipate a lot of last minute bookings getting into the season, even more so now that everyone is offering specials," says a Cayo lodge operator.

Interviews with Belize hotel operators and responses to the poll also show these trends:
-- Travelers are waiting later than usual to book and are making more last-minute bookings.
-- While Americans still dominate the Belize tourist market, representing about 75% of Belize arrivals, hotel operators are seeing more European visitors than before. European travelers to Belize are mostly at the budget level, though they tend to stay longer than Americans.
-- Hotels in Belize are holding down price increases, typically keeping 2002 rates at the same level as 2001.
-- More hotels are running specials, promoting discounts in the high season, a practice rarely seen before.
-- Hotels in popular resort areas, especially Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, appear to be doing better than those in other areas, including Belize City, Cayo and Corozal.

Says one knowledgeable tour operator in Belize: "I noticed the slow down last April. Things went dead September 11. They've started picking up, but it's still up and down, not up. I've called lodges and hotel owners to see how they are doing -- they say fine and then I get there and it doesn't look so fine to me. Thanksgiving was good. It always is. Christmas is (almost) sold out. It always is. But Osama bin Laden could have sold out his hotel in Belize during Christmas, if he had one."
_________________________
Lan Sluder/Belize First
http://www.belizefirst.com

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#141041 - 01/08/02 06:12 PM Re: Questions for everyone of TOURISM
Anonymous
honestly, i wonder if some of this is due to the sucky airline schedules since 9/11. remember when zeke & crew cancelled? i am concerned as well, as i want to fly with 2 little kids, and deal with not just a houston stopover (expected), but perhaps OVERNIGHT stopover? forget it! any insight????

ps -lan - you always have the answers. you are the man!

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#141042 - 01/08/02 06:39 PM Re: Questions for everyone of TOURISM
CHOOCHOO Offline
jane, jane, jane,

Not to worry. Just make sure your travel agent sets up your trip for the return on the days when Continental has TWO flights out of BZ. That late (5 p.m.) flight will put you overnight in Houston with the "darlings". The 3 p.m. departure will allow you to make the connection back to "beautiful Bucks Co., PA"

Hmmmmm, all that help inspite of your casutic remarks earlier. Just kidding.

Yer welcome.

CC

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#141043 - 01/09/02 01:29 AM Re: Questions for everyone of TOURISM
susangg Offline
On a more positive note: I just got back from AC and I had a bunch of messages waiting for me from people interested in my condos. I got a flurry of new bookings in the last two days. I think maybe its going to pick up, and that some people just needed to get through the holidays with no major awful things happening.....
_________________________
Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: susangg@garcia.mpowermail.com

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#141044 - 01/09/02 05:36 PM Re: Questions for everyone of TOURISM
KC Offline
I think that Continental screwing up their schedule has not helped. I talked with my travel agent yesterday, and we can't make a good return connection coming back. Have to fly from Houston through Vegas or LA,and get home at around 2:30 in the morning, or do a layover. Icky. Have to go with American this time. Agent also said that Continental may be making changes soon, as all of Central America tourism people are screaming at them about their flights.
_________________________
"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

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#141045 - 01/09/02 07:39 PM Re: Questions for everyone of TOURISM
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
I've heard that American is cancelling its DFW-Belize daily flight. If that is true, it's another major blow against tourism in Belize. With TACA cutting back on its schedules, AA eliminating the DFW flight, for non-stop flights that basically leaves just CO and TACA flying from Houston (CO twice a day some days in season), and AA from Miami.

--Lan Sluder
_________________________
Lan Sluder/Belize First
http://www.belizefirst.com

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#141046 - 01/09/02 07:42 PM Re: Questions for everyone of TOURISM
karin Offline
AA from DFW to BZE is still in my res system at least until 02 Sept... Hope they will not cancel it...

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#141047 - 01/09/02 07:46 PM Re: Questions for everyone of TOURISM
CHOOCHOO Offline
I've been told the same thing that Lan heard. At first AA deleted the flight that takes us from our home airport to Dallas in time to catch the BZ flight, then I was told that they are canning the BZ flights from Dallas. Hope not. That will be a BIG blow to BZ tourism. Hard to sell resort rooms if the guests either can't get there, OR cannot afford to get there.

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