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#16009 - 01/14/03 05:37 PM Tourism stats show impressive gains
Marty Online   happy
Tourism stats show impressive gains

The report card on 2002 tourist
arrivals is in...and guess what, the
industry passed with flying
colours. This afternoon, I caught
up with Director of Tourism, Tracy
Taegar who broke down the
figures and provided an insider's
perspective on the developments.

Tracy Taegar, Director of Tourism
"The report has just come in for cruise ship figures for
2002,
we are up by five hundred percent, which is significant.
At
the airport for December, we recorded an eighteen point
seven percent growth in overnight arrivals. We haven't
gotten the border figures yet, we should get that
confirmed
today, but I believe by the end of the year we should
have a
two percent growth in overnight arrivals, which is what
we
projected for this year."

Janelle Chanona
"How are we coping as a country with these rapid
increases in tourism development?"

Tracy Taegar
"I think we're coping pretty well. Certainly we're
liasing with
private sector in terms of looking at moderating growth
in
cruise ship sector, we have to be very careful with that

obviously. Overnight arrivals, with the new air service
coming, I think will be significant for next year once
we don't
have any major crisis like the impending war with the
U.S.
But we feel very comfortable with the steady growth in
overnight arrivals and we certainly will try and
moderate the
growth in cruise ship arrivals so that it can be
sustainable in
the long term."

Janelle Chanona
"Are we still looking at five, six ships coming in or
will
we stick around the four and five."

Tracy Taegar
"I don't believe we'll go over the four ships a day.
There are
very random cases where we will have five ships, but
it's not
the recommendation of the board at this time to go
beyond
three to four ships a day."

Belize's tourism figures compare very well with other
Caribbean destinations, most of which have not yet
recovered from the impact of the September eleventh,
2001 terror attacks. Many have recorded negative
growth rates for two successive years.

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#16010 - 01/14/03 07:03 PM Re: Tourism stats show impressive gains
Mel S Offline
This is very interesting, and positive. However, one wonders what will happen with the war with Iraq and reflecting the travel industry overall. If the economy becomes even more stressed, Americans, Canadians, and Brits may not have the extra financial resources to come back to Belize. Who knows right ? The second small thorn in the tourism in Belize can be a problem if the reef starts dying, or if the incredible tropical forest become stripped by Dams or slash and burn agricultural techniques. No one is going to come down here if mother nature is on her death bed. i pray to God people have enough common sense, not to destroy one of the most incredible habitat I have ever saw in my life. Best-Wishes, Mel S.....
_________________________
Mel Sinderman

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#16011 - 01/15/03 05:46 PM Re: Tourism stats show impressive gains
Marty Online   happy
Here's a lil more along those lines...

Airport arrivals on major upswing

On yesterday's newscast B.T.B. director Tracy Taegar
summarized the latest tourism figures, pointing to a
whopping five fold increase in 2002 cruise arrivals, a
respectable two percent rise in airport tourist
landings, with a heavy eighteen percent jump in the
most recent fourth quarter of the year. Today a closer
look at figures provided by the Belize Airports
Authority clearly indicate that arrivals have rebounded
in a big way, and if the trend holds, 2003 should be
the biggest yet for Belize's tourism industry. Numbers
for all international arrivals at the Philip Goldson
International Airport in October, November and
December show an increase of over seven thousand
passengers from the terrorism plagued year of 2001.
The latest numbers are also well above the same
months for the year 2000. Even more encouraging are
the stats for the month of December alone, which
show a one-year leap of over twenty-nine percent in
airport arrivals. This reflects the impact of new routes
to Belize four days each week by U.S. Air and Air
Jamaica, which between them accounted for over
eighteen hundred incoming passengers in December.
For U.S. Air, business has been so encouraging that it
plans to introduce daily service in March. During this
same December period, American Airlines and
Continental introduced supplemental service from
Miami and Newark, respectively. These two U.S.
carriers continue to battle head to head for supremacy
on the Belize run with 2002 ending in virtually a dead
heat. American brought sixty-seven thousand, four
hundred and seventeen people to Belize, while
Continental boarded only six less.

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#16012 - 01/19/03 05:03 PM Re: Tourism stats show impressive gains
Marty Online   happy
BTB: Cruise ship sector
grows record 564%
BELIZE CITY, Wed. Jan. 15, 2003

Despite the November 27th fiasco at the Tourism Village that was said to
have given the Belize tourism industry a "black eye," causing losses of
over US$80,000 in the cruise ship sector due to cancellation of tours, the
Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is this year reporting record growth in that
sector of the tourism industry.

Tourism director, Tracey Taegar, has reported that the cruise sector of
the tourism industry has grown 564% over 2001.

Incidentally, the same year that saw the greatest growth in the cruise
ship sector also saw what is perhaps the most embarrassing event for the
industry: a strike by Novelo's Bus Line and Belitur against Cruise
Solutions Ltd. and a protest by Cruise Solutions tour guides, in response
to the strike. all before the eyes of hundreds of tourists who had come
ashore to enjoy Belize. It also saw a controversy among the smaller
entrepreneurs who resisted a move to relocate them from the streetside to
the Memorial Park. However, both situations were later amicably diffused.

Meanwhile, Taegar informed that overnight arrivals at the Philip Goldson
International Airport for the last quarter in 2002 grew 15% over the
previous year, when the September 11th attack on the United States sent
economic shocks rippling across the globe.

She went on to say that the projected growth in overnight arrivals was
anticipated at 2%. The final figures on arrivals through the nation's land
borders are still pending; however, Taegar said that all indications are
that they have reached that 2% goal.

According to the BTB, the tourism industry grew 8% in 2000, when a heavy
international campaign promoting Belize as a must see tourist destination
was launched, and Belize was actively promoted for the first time on
international television.

In addition to continued growth in the cruise ship sector - for which
another 300% is programmed for 2003 - four new destinations were added to
Belize's air travel itinerary. US Airways and Air Jamaica began new flights
to Belize last year, and American Airlines and Continental Airlines, two of
the major and longstanding international carriers operating in Belize,
added a Miami and Newark flight, correspondingly.

Taegar said that if there is no war against Iraq this year, they
anticipate another 5 to 8% growth in the tourism industry in 2003.

Asked if the industry has fully rebounded from the September 11 attacks,
Taegar said that the country is still rebounding. Other countries in the
region, she said, have observed a decline of 12 to 30% in tourism arrivals,
but through the partnership between the public and private sector, Belize
has managed to see a net growth.

Taegar further stated that the BTB has decided that it would not push
the cruise sector beyond four ships on any one day, as they are trying to
focus on building a sustainable industry. The BTB plans to undertake
infrastructural improvements, train front-line personnel in the industry,
and upgrade and develop new sites to market, she added.

Previous reports on revenues earned by the cruise sector in 2002 placed
the figure at $27 million. The final figures are being compiled and should
be ready in the next few weeks.

Amandala spoke with some of the vendors from both inside and outside the
village, and while those who have long been in the sector unanimously
conceded that they did see a significant boost in tourist traffic this
year, most said that the extent of the growth is not being reflected in
their pockets.

Some vendors inside the village say that most of the money they made
went back into paying overhead costs, like a rent of US$450 a month, a
promotion fee of US$35 per cruise ship, and a US$40 monthly light bill -
this adds up to over US$1,000 per month for some vendors.

Furthermore, vendors inside the village complain that those outside are
underselling them. They maintain that because of high overhead costs, they
must sell their items at a higher price than those outside to be able to
sustain their businesses.

Meanwhile, those outside the village, who pay the City of Belize $25
monthly for vending on the streetside, say that even though more cruise
ship tourists have been coming to Belize, the sales have not been
increasing to the same extent, as not all tourists who come off the ships
would spend money. Two vendors said today that they made no money on
Wednesday, when one cruise ship docked offshore Belize.

A significant factor affecting individual earnings is the increase in
the number of people who have entered the market. Though the pie has gotten
bigger, more people are trying to get a slice of it. However, one
streetside vendor told the newspaper that she does not mind sharing with
those who want to join in to make a living.

from Amandala

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#16013 - 01/20/03 07:04 PM Re: Tourism stats show impressive gains
GAY AND DAVID Offline
marty, i am doing everything in my power to increase that tourism stat for 2003!!!
gay

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