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#365531 - 01/29/10 04:03 AM Where are all the tourists?
Winston1984 Offline
Hello Everyone on Ambergris Caye,

I've just returned home after a month on your lovely island and have just come across this site and forum. Apart from a little rain and a couple of cooler days the weather was great for this time of year for us.

My question is: Where are all the people and How can businesses there cope with so few tourists? The only time it seemed to be remotely busy was on New Years Eve night. We were told that the tourists would be flocking to the island the day after Xmas, but from where we were, they must have all got lost. Are there any estimates as to how much lower tourist numbers are at the moment?


#365544 - 01/29/10 05:24 AM Re: Where are all the tourists? [Re: Winston1984]
ExOkie Offline
I was there doing my part. I know I contributed to Sir Barry's fortune.
God Bless The Reef!

#365545 - 01/29/10 05:30 AM Re: Where are all the tourists? [Re: ExOkie]
rockfish Offline
I did my part, but I agree except for a few resorts most looked like ghost towns.

#365549 - 01/29/10 06:35 AM Re: Where are all the tourists? [Re: ExOkie]
LaurieMar Offline
Hi Winston, I do not live in Belize, but have traveled there frequently enough over the last 10 years to share your observations. As usual, I was there over Thanksgiving and this last November, it was the slowest I have ever seen. I mean dead slow. I talked to a lot of locals, bartenders, hotel people - they are concerned, to say the least. In PG, I saw a few tourists. In Placencia, I saw about 10 people on the beach (other than locals). I stayed at Coral Bay Villas in SP and there were only 2 occupied villas. Not to mention, the bars and restaurants were virtually empty of travelers that week.

You didn't mention if you have been there before, what your expectations were or other destinations you may be comparing to San Pedro.

Finally another traveler that took notice of the lack of visitors. Could it be the global economic recession, the high cost of airfare to get to Belize, etc.? Yes, definitely. But then again, I hate crowds and mass tourism destinations, so that is one of the reasons I return to Belize over and over again.

And over and over again, I return home with a big smile on my face and want to do nothing else but book my next trip! Its all good!

#365552 - 01/29/10 07:09 AM Re: Where are all the tourists? [Re: LaurieMar]
ExOkie Offline
Laurie from what I heard from the locals was that yes when the economy took that hit last fall it did cut down on discretionary travel but the regulars still came.

I was surprised by how many people were there New Year's Eve and how they didn't look like the usual AC tourists. Much younger and mostly backpackers but still a lot of people. Jerry Jeff Week 1 was the 3rd - 10th and they only sold about 80 of 200 tickets but that was mostly because people didn't want to travel so soon after New Years (it was speculated). Even so on the 3rd Estel's had extra tables down to the waterfront and all of them full all morning. They were busy all week. Fido's was always full at night. We couldn't get into Mango's twice because the wait was an hour or more.

Just saying that when I was there (12/30-1/10) business was picking up. Like you I'm planning my next trip already!

God Bless The Reef!

#365553 - 01/29/10 02:07 PM Re: Where are all the tourists? [Re: LaurieMar]
rockfish Offline
Originally Posted By: LaurieMar

Finally another traveler that took notice of the lack of visitors. Could it be the global economic recession, the high cost of airfare to get to Belize, etc.? Yes, definitely. But then again, I hate crowds and mass tourism destinations, so that is one of the reasons I return to Belize over and over again.

Believe me I wouldn't mine if I was the only person on AC. Yes it is the economy and unfortunately I think things are going to get worse before they get better. I also think a lot of people that have condos and timeshares are not going to be able to use those properties soon. I worry most for the people of AC that work in these resorts. The best thing we can do to help is visit.

#365555 - 01/29/10 02:17 PM Re: Where are all the tourists? [Re: rockfish]
JeanH Offline
I've been on the island for several weeks now, we walk the beach between here at Coral Bay and town at least once a day. I certainly don't know occupancy rates, other than right here, and we're full and have been most of the month, with only a day here and there with an open condo.

There are good numbers of people lounging at Ramon's when we walk by (and the sun is out). Lots of people at Corona del Mar and Crazy Canucks.

That said, we could have walked in and gotten a table at Wild Mangos last night, which hasn't been true very often.

#365565 - 01/29/10 03:33 PM Re: Where are all the tourists? [Re: JeanH]
Big Mike Offline
Last year was real slow, but things seem to be shaping up for an improvement this season. I agree with ExOkkie, backpackers are back in a very big way on the island. Haven't seen this many hip young people in years.

#365569 - 01/29/10 04:11 PM Re: Where are all the tourists? [Re: Big Mike]
elbert Offline
I sent out 20 people snorkeling and diving this morning!
would have been more if we could dive outside the reef (the sea-state is rough)
That's a good day for us.
I'm just not feeling all this 'economy down' and 'tourist visitation low' stuff.
never have.
I'm not denying there a recession just not feeling it here.
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#365570 - 01/29/10 04:13 PM Re: Where are all the tourists? [Re: Winston1984]
WildThing Offline
Originally Posted By: Winston1984

Are there any estimates as to how much lower tourist numbers are at the moment?

Can anyone with a business on AC answer this question?

I have been here for nearly 2 months now, and am aghast at how quiet it is. Realistically I cannot see how many places here can survive another season without tourists. The local hotel where I stayed at first told me that last year was bad, but they were hoping things would pick up this year! Yes, there ARE a few of us here, but I would say in not sufficient numbers to sustain a thriving tourist economy!! I walk the beach every day, and yes, always a few at Ramon's, a few at Crazy Canucks bar......I have seen all of 7 other people at Banyan Bay the 3 days I have spent round their pool!

Maybe there are some backpackers (not that I have really seen).....but are backpackers really the big spenders??????

And yes, it is wonderful for those of us here to enjoy this quiet solitude, and have pools and beaches to ourselves.......but what does that mean?? I suspect it means that all the amenities we enjoy here may not be continue to be here, and/or prices will continue to increase.

I had planned to stay here at least 6 months. I am now already thinking about whether to leave. AC is over-priced, the Belize government are strangle-holding the economic opportunity of their country. Everyone seems to be in ostrich syndrome! Why aren't businesses working more collaboratively together to offer more enticing deals to get tourists here? Why isn't the Belize government doing something about making travel to Belize more affordable?

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world shall know peace."

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