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#430611 - 02/16/12 03:08 AM BELIZE TOURISM BOARD RELEASES LATEST FIGURES
Marty Offline
The Belize Tourism Board announced the official statistics in the tourism
arrivals for Belize in 2011 this morning at the Phoenix Resort in San Pedro
Town. According to the officials, the tourism sector has seen an upward
trend in tourist arrivals to our shores. Minister of Tourism and Civil
Aviation is Manuel Heredia Junior.

Manuel Heredia Jr. – Minister of Tourism
“I am happy to announce that for the first time in the history of Belize
tourism we have attained the record overnight arrival in three of the
twelve months of last year, namely January, July and December of 2011. As
a result of these top performing months I am proud to say that 2011 will be
recorded as only the second time in Belize’s history that we have exceeded
the 250,000 overnight arrivals.”

According to Minister Heredia since he took office in 2008, the numbers in
tourism are better showing a twelve percent increase in overall arrivals
including cruise and overnight arrivals. Major challenges were highlighted
by Interim Director Javier Paredez.

Javier Paredez – Interim Director
“In 2008 no one would have predicted that our number one market would have
been blindsided by an economic downturn. This triggered a ripple effect on
many other economies worldwide who are dependent on the US market for
travel and trade; Belize was no exception but we held our own. Belize’s
figures stayed pretty steady overall when we compared our arrival figures
to figures from other Central American destinations and also our Caribbean
neighbours who have more marketing dollars and resources at their disposal.
Following the news of the economic crisis in the summer of 2008, Belize
only suffered a loss of 2.6 over the previous year’s arrivals. We saw the
greatest impact in 2009 where we again experienced a loss of 5.2 over 2008.
In 2010 we began to see a rebound and this trend is continuing.”

Officials at the BTB stated that while the statistics show a slight slip in
the overnight sector, improvement is being seen in the cruise sector with
the exception of 2008. In addition, 2011 is only the second time that the
overnight arrivals have exceeded 250,000 arrivals making it a record
setting year from January to December.

LOVEFM

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#430626 - 02/16/12 02:29 PM Re: BELIZE TOURISM BOARD RELEASES LATEST FIGURES [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Tourism Numbers Are Impressive

Whenever you hear about a press conference about statistics with just weeks to go before an election - you know that the numbers presented have to be good!

And indeed they are for the BTB and the Ministry of Tourism which was happy to boast about the out-turnof an especially strong fourth quarter. Jim Mcfadzean went to their press conference on san Pedro today and here's what he found out.

Jim McFadzean Reporting

The BTB in its invitation to the media billed today's press conference as an all important one. Important because it says the country has seen record overnight arrivals during the past year, and, for the second time in history, tourist arrivals have exceeded the quarter million mark.

Manuel Heredia - Minister of Tourism
"I am happy to announce that for the first time in the history of Belize, we have attained record over-night arrivals in 3 of the 12 months of last year, namely, January, July and December of 2011. As a result of these top-performing months, I am proud say that 2011 will be recorded as only the second time in Belize's history that we have exceeded the 250,000 over night arrivals."

That essentially was the good news for the industry, but today' press conference which was overshadowed by all the noise celebrating nomination day on the island, was also no doubt a shot of good news for both the Incumbent UDP administration and Heredia himself, who as area representative for San Pedro is running for re-election.

And riding on the latest bit of good news, the BTB says the forecast for 2012 looks even better. A major airline out of Canada has announced it intends to start flying between the two countries, starting sometime early next year.

Manuel Heredia Jr.
"Sun Wing Airlines of Canada will commence weekly non-stop dedicated services to Belize early next year. This represents 744 seats per month directly from Canada, and important step in stengthen the Canadian market, which is our second strongest market, and will only keep growing with strategic alliances. This builds up an additional 39,000 seats from North America for 2012, and represents a growth of confidence in the Belize product by our airline partners."

But with the latest incremental successes, Belize still remains a pricey destination, still out of the reach of many travelers, and has yet to reach the level of customer service experienced in other similar destinations.

Jim McFadzean
"Are we still an outpriced destination. Are we selling ourselves short when it comes to especially in the issue of offering customer service, what we get for the kind of servicce - what we pay for?"

Lara Esquivel Framton - Quality Assurance Officer, BTB
"That has definitely been one of the issues that have come up from our local stakeholders as well. And that's why we are aggressively looking at the training and capacity building, and these kind of field programs that will encourage our industry to to look at exactly what it is that they are giving, and so, we can help them to improve."

That in mind, the country continues to benefit from great worldwide reviews, the most recent, when Trip Advisor announced that the Phoenix Resort in San Pedro was the World's best hotel.

Yanick Dalhouse - Marketing Director, BTB
"As you may recall back in 2008, Belize made a huge international splash when the Today Show broadcasted live for 2 days from Belize. For it's feature, "Today goes to The Ends of the Earth" special. This morning show was seen by millions people across North America. During that same year, our new grand ads debuted in several international magazines, and National Geographic - we had an ad that scored the highest in brand recognition of all of their readers among all of the ads in the magazine. Additionally, all PR efforts that year resulted in nearly 300 stories worldwide about Belize, and when you equate that into advertising dollars, it reached over 500 million people."

And so as the Country struggles with its infrastructure, and the industry strives to improve its performance on the frontlines, any improvement in its performance over the previous years in the current economic climate, is reason to celebrate.

The total overnight arrival figure for 2011 is 250,263 and that is the second highest on record after the peak in 2007, which was just before the global economic crisis period.

It is only the second time in Belize's history that the overnight tourism arrival figure has exceeded 250,000 visitors.

Channel 7


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#430630 - 02/16/12 02:33 PM Re: BELIZE TOURISM BOARD RELEASES LATEST FIGURES [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

B.T.B.’s stats show Tourist Arrivals up

The Belize Tourism Board today announced the statistics for tourist arrivals in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the figures are record breaking for overnight visitors. There were a total of fifty-seven thousand, nine hundred and sixty-four overnight visitors, which reflects a six point five percent increase when compared to the same period in 2010. December’s twenty-six thousand nine hundred overnight tourists also made history. Arrivals via the Philip Goldson International airport were at a record high and for the most part, have shown a steady increase since 2008. In the fourth quarter of 2011, forty-two thousand and thirty-four airline visitors were recorded, an increase of nine percent compared to 2010. As for cruise ship arrivals, the figures were inconsistent throughout October, November and December 2011. In comparison to 2010, October saw a twenty-five point nine percent increase with thirty-nine, nine hundred and fifty-nine cruise visitors. November had a record high of ninety-two thousand, four hundred and sixteen, which is a thirty-two point one percent improvement. Meanwhile, December had a decline of eleven point five percent with ninety-six thousand, three hundred and sixty-seven. But according to the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, the industry has seen an overall increase in arrivals of almost twelve percent since 2008. He addressed the record breaking figures at a press conference in San Pedro today while the Belize Tourism Board’s Director of Quality Assurance, Laura Esquivel Frampton, spoke on the initiatives in place to keep arrivals on the increase.

Manuel Heredia

Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism

“For the first time in the history of Belize’s tourism, we have attained record overnight arrivals in three of the twelve months of last year; namely January, July and December of 2011. As a result of these top performing months, I am proud to say that 2011 will be recorded as only the second time in Belize’s history that we have exceeded two hundred and fifty thousand overnight arrivals.”

Laura Esquivel Frampton

Laura Esquivel Frampton, Director of Quality Assurance, B.T.B.

“The cruise sector has done very well for us even when our overnight sector was taking a dip. So we have the zone, we have to continue our negotiations with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association and of course capacity building for our local stakeholders in the cruise sector. We are also working on—and there’s going to be training in March in cultural tourism for persons who are offering cultural tourism products, giving them training and also a small grants program that is coming through the IDB project and looking at health and safety standards and accompanying training throughout our sector. We also have to focus a lot on capacity building and training for our industry. We’ve revamped our tour guide certification course and should be giving that to the industry a little later this year so that we can begin new programs that focus on interpretive skills. Introduction of a new tour operator course; right now there is no course offered to persons who operate tours so we have created that groundwork and we are ready to roll out our first training in the summer. And we’re looking at quality enhancement training, customer service training; wait staff, bartending front desk and key to all of this is to get more trainers into the system.”

Tourism Minister, Manuel Heredia also announced at today’s press conference that starting early next year, Sunwing Airline of Canada will begin weekly direct flights to Belize.

Channel 5


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#430645 - 02/16/12 03:38 PM Re: BELIZE TOURISM BOARD RELEASES LATEST FIGURES [Re: Marty]
Barbara K Offline
Yup. It's been crazy busy. Had to hire help. Let's hope it keeps up, the hotels and infrastructure can handle it & nothing (crime, weather, etc) comes along to muck it up....at least until Dec 22! ;-)
_________________________
www.barbsbelize.com

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#430801 - 02/18/12 03:07 PM Re: BELIZE TOURISM BOARD RELEASES LATEST FIGURES [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

BTB announces “resurgence of tourism inflows”

Belize is reporting “a resurgence of tourism inflows” for the year 2011, with overnight tourist arrivals increasing 3.4%, but cruise tourist arrivals dropping 4.8% over 2010 figures. Still cruise tourism saw a record month last November, with 92,416 passengers visiting Belize, according to official data.

The highlight is the overall outturn for the 4th quarter of 2011. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has issued a statement declaring that, “The overnight arrival figure for the 4th quarter of 2011 was the highest for that time period on record. There were 57,964 visitors in the 4th quarter, representing a 6.5% increase on the 4th quarter of 2010, and signaling a resurgence of tourism inflows in Belize.”

Tourism Data Analyst, Michael Arana, told Amandala that the rebound in overnight arrivals and Philip Goldson International Airport arrivals had a lot to do with the American market.

“We saw some very large increases in January and April. Those are usually the high season months,” said Arana.

He said that in 2011 the figures were returning to the level they were at prior to the global economic upheaval. Apart from the economic rebound, he said that the improvement in arrival figures was also due to certain strategies put in place to market Belize. Greater private sector participation also played a positive role, said Arana.

According to the BTB, December showed record arrivals of 26,945—a 7.6% increase over December 2010.

“2011 was a year of record breakers with record highs for January, July and December,” the statement added. “The total overnight arrival figure for 2011 of 250,263 is the second highest on record after the peak in 2007, which was just before the global economic crisis period. It is only the second time in Belize’s history that the overnight tourism arrival figure has exceeded 250,000 visitors.”

Airport arrivals increased 9% for the 4th quarter, according to the report. The BTB also declared this a record, at 42,034 visitors.

The data indicate that January, July, November and December were record months, with total arrivals at 181,996 for 2011—a 5.6% increase in arrivals compared to 2010.

Cruise tourism arrivals fell

Whereas the report was positive for the overnight arrivals, the BTB reported that, “there was a slight decline in December 2011 of 11.5%, and the total 2011 cruise arrival figure was 4.8% less than the figure of 2010.”

A total of 727,544 cruise tourists reportedly came to Belize in 2011.

The BTB said, “...if the cruise industry was not hampered by the cruise tender issue in the early part of the year, the 2011 cruise arrival figures may have exceeded the 2010 figures.”

The issue in question was between Carnival cruise lines and local tour operators who disputed over new rules of the game for shuttling passengers via tenders.

Arana said “that was the issue” which caused the decline, pointing to the January 2011 drop of 32% and the February decline of 35% in cruise tourist arrivals due to Carnival cruise cancellations – the biggest declines for the year, he pointed out.

Meanwhile, July showed a decline of 12% and September -- 16%.

Despite the downturn, 2011 still ended with the second highest cruise tourist arrival on record, said the BTB. The record year was 2010.

As to what kind of year is projected for 2012, Arana told Amandala, “we are expecting a further increase,” although, he added that certain factors can always come to play that they do not foresee.

The Royal Visit of Prince Harry, scheduled for March 2 and 3, is expected to boost tourism in 2012.

Amandala


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#430898 - 02/20/12 02:27 PM Re: BELIZE TOURISM BOARD RELEASES LATEST FIGURES [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

BTB reports record highs

The number of overnight tourist arrivals in Belize has hit a record high. More than 58,000 visitors arrived in the 4th quarter of 2011.

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced the exciting news at its press conference held at the Phoenix Hotel in San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye on Wednesday, February 15.

According to the BTB’s Fourth Quarter Report, the numbers represent a 6.5% increase over the 4th quarter of the previous year, signalling a resurgence of tourism inflows to Belize.

A total of 12,093 tourists visited Belize last October, representing a 1.4% increase over the same period the year before.

The 18,908 visitors who arrived in November represented an 8.3% increase over November 2010, and the record high of 26,945 arrivals in December 2011 represented a 7.6% increase over December 2010.

Last year also produced record highs for January, July and December. A total of 250,263 overnight arrivals in 2011, which represents a 3.4% increase over 2010, is the second highest on record since numbers peaked in 2007, just before the global economic crisis.

It’s only the second time that overnight tourism arrivals have exceeded 250,000 in Belize’s history!

Arrivals through the Philip Goldson International airport also reported a record high of 42,034 visitors for the 4th quarter of 2011, a 9% increase over 2010.

Arrivals in October 2011 showed a slight decrease of 1.2% compared to 2010. But the 13,387 visitors who came in November represented a 9.6% increase over November the previous year and the 20,648 visitors in December were a 13.1% increase over the same period in 2010.

International airport arrivals produced record highs in January, July, November and December 2011. The total of 181,996 arrivals in 2011 represent an increase of 5.6 % over the totals for 2010, the second highest for the PGIA since arrivals peaked in 2007.

The 727,544 cruise passenger arrivals in 2011 were the second highest on record, even though they were 4.8% less than in 2010. Arrivals were inconsistent throughout the year, and the 4th quarter was no different.

The 39,959 visitors who arrived in October were 25.9% more than the arrivals for the previous October, and the 92,416 cruise visitors who came in November was a record high—a 32.1% increase over November 2010.

Arrivals declined slightly by 11.5% in December 2011. The cruise tender issue in the early part of the year may have had some negative impact on arrivals. Were it not for the cruise ship cancellations, the 2011 cruise arrival figures would have exceeded the 2010 figures.

The Reporter


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