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#463041 - 04/25/13 06:19 AM Tourism Numbers Boom, Cruise Tourism Still Lagging
Marty Offline
Tourism arrivals to Belize continue to show impressive growth in 2013, after a strong rebound year in 2012. Figures for the first three months of 2013 are in – and it continues the growth trend making it 19 consecutive months of increases in overnight visitors.

Tourist arrivals at the airport for January, February and March topped 2012 figures by 8% – peaking in march when there was an increase of more than five thousand visitors. And, the 28,623 arrivals make it the first time in history that air arrivals the 28,000 visitor mark for any month.

And consistent with those air arrivals, in March, for the first time ever, overnight visitors exceeded 35,000 visitor mark – easily exceeding the previous record of 32,240 visitors who came in March of 2012. First quarter figures show a 13% increase over the first quarter of 2012.

And cruise arrivals which took a sharp downturn last year were back up in the first quarter of 2013. There was a 19.4% increase in January, and an 11.4% increase in February, but by March, it started to taper off, recording only a 1.4% increase over the previous year. Still arrivals for the first quarter are up 10.9% - and that’s good news for the newly installed Director of Cruise and Regional Initiatives. That’s Valdemar Andrade who comes over form the Ministry of Tourism to the BTB to take up that newly created office. He says that while 2013 has been encouraging so far, there are significant challenges immediately ahead for cruise tourism.

Valdemar Andrade - BTB, Director of Cruise & Regional Initiatives.
"The situation here is basically that we are now moving to a different level of cruise tourism. We have to make some critical decisions as to moving to a port, looking at where a port would be the best place in Belize because to move beyond four cruise ships a day on any one given day we do have to think about the facilities to be able bring that amount of people on shore. Where the challenge will be for me as the Director of Cruise is to basically work the other lines other than Carnival because Carnival is the only who makes calls during the Summer to work with those other lines is to add at least one cruise ship during the Summer months. To be able to boost the summer months so that we have a better summer season during that time. We have to work with the cruise service providers to other summer packages to look at what is it we have to do with the market. We will be also be looking at basically boosting our marketing within the cruse sector itself and within the US and within the other markets to see how we can attract other people during the Summer months and for that reason so yes will be putting in initiatives in the next year to ensure that the numbers are steady and keep rising."

We also discussed the issue of a Cruise Port with a berthing facility – which is urgently required. We’ll have that portion of the interview tomorrow.

Channel 7

#463044 - 04/25/13 06:24 AM Re: Tourism Numbers Boom, Cruise Tourism Still Lagging [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Tourism Arrivals Grow In Belize

The First Quarter report on Tourism Statistics for Belize was released today by the Belize Tourism Board.  The report suggests a record number for the first quarter with Airport Tourist Arrivals, Overnight Tourist Arrivals and Cruise Arrivals. Director of Tourism, Laura Esquivel Frampton told us more about the increase in each area.


When it comes to overnight tourism we usually get the airport figures first.  We know that the airport represents 70% of our overall arrivals.  So, that’s usually a very good indicator of what overall arrivals will look like.  We saw that the airport arrivals were increasing;  in January it was 7.58%;  in February 6%; in March 10.17%.  In the same light when we added now the airport plus all the ports of entry of Belize for overnight guests we saw January had a fantastic figure of 17.18% over the previous January.  February was 11.59% and up and March was 11.03% up.  So all together from January to March we have a cumulative increase of overnight arrivals of 13.02% and this is of course fantastic news  for Belize, it’s fantastic news from the top all the way down in terms of the cumulative effect of these arrivals and I have add that all months so far January, February and March are all record breaking months for Belize in terms of overnight tourism arrivals.  It continues to be a positive trend for tourism as an industry within Belize. Cruise has also been doing well this year.  As we know last year we had a little bit of a rocky time , this year January had a 19.4% increase, February had a 11.39% increase and while March had a very small increase it was 1.35% it's still an increase over last year.  So we have a cumulative increase of 10.87% in cruise and our projection for the rest of this year also have us having an increase over last year.  We have been working very hard at working on our relationships  with travel agents and wholesalers.  These are the people who are looked to as experts  when people don't know where to travel to and they get there recommendation.  We've had increased public relations opportunities, publicity opportunities particularly in the North American market  which have brought Belize point of mind.  We have been all over the US media last year which has definitely  help to boost the knowledge of Belize and so with that we've been using that as a tool for us to press on travel agents and wholesaler as to why they need to sell Belize.  We have been doing more press trips ,we been going after different type of persons to attract , to come to Belize and so it is a consorted effort on all fronts.  In fact we were meeting with an airline, we meet with airlines also to try and convince them to help us market the country and an airline that is not yet coming to Belize but we have been talking to them saying Belize is sexy, Belize is a sexy destination and I think we are gaining that notoriety of a place where if you haven't been in you need to go to if you have you loved it so much you need to return to it."


The last time there was a decrease in any month of tourist arrivals was in October of 2011, this makes it nineteen consecutive months of increases in overnight tourist arrivals.


While the First Quarter Report on Tourist Arrivals shows an increase in cruise tourism, the Belize Tourism Board has appointed a new Director of Cruise and Regional Initiatives. Esquivel Frampton says since the BTB has focused more on overnight arrivals because it brings more expenditure to the country, they opened the new post hoping to have someone to specifically add focus to the area of cruise tourism.


"With the increase in cruise and the increase in potential of cruise we thought that it was important to have a point person here at the BTB who would be that point person for the international cruise executives as well as the cruise stake holders and partners locally within Belize. We found that it is an important segment of tourism and we need to treat it that way as long as we can be distracted by over night we tend to be distracted and so we need to have somebody who is the point person that will be his focus. The Belize tourism board and the country of Belize is the members of many regional organization and the purpose of being a part of these regional organization is so that we can bring the benefits home to Belize see what s out there in the regions and piggy back on regional initiatives for the growth of our tourism sector , these are organization like the CTO , which is the Caribbean tourism organization and we have SICA, which is a Central American organization and of course we also have linkages with like the OAS and those kinds of regional organization that can help bring programs to us, for improvement in product development and improvement in our products and the quality and what not.  So we thought that it was important to have 1 point person here  at the BTB who would be keeping track of all these initiatives and insuring that we are taking advantage of as many opportunity as we can to grow the tourism product here."


Frampton says that after advertising the position and conducting interviews, they found the perfect person whom they hope will help insure a better relationship with cruise partners

With Dr. Andrade in place to focus on building the relationship with the cruise industry, Frampton says they are looking forward to increase numbers in that sector.


#463047 - 04/25/13 06:35 AM Re: Tourism Numbers Boom, Cruise Tourism Still Lagging [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Tourism dollars and arrivals are up

Statistics for tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2013 have been released and they are quite impressive says the director of the Belize Tourism Board.  The hotel sector alone has registered revenue of approximately sixty million dollars since January with overnight arrivals at an estimated ninety-three thousand visitors.  A new benchmark was also set last month when, for the first time ever, overnight arrivals exceeded thirty-five thousand visitors.  In cruise tourism, there has been notable increase in arrivals despite dull numbers being posted in 2012.  The significant upturn, says Laura Esquivel-Frampton, is the result of the inclusive participation from all stakeholders across the industry.

Laura Esquivel-Frampton, Director of Tourism, B.T.B.

“We’re happy to say once again that we have another record breaking month this year. In fact, all of this year so far—January, February and March—have been record breaking in terms of overnight arrivals. Overall, and this includes the airport and all the other ports of entry, January saw seventeen point one eight percent increase, February saw eleven point five nine percent increase and March saw an eleven point zero three percent increase. So cumulatively for the quarter, we are seeing a thirteen point zero two increase in tourism arrivals for the overnight sector. As you are aware, the overnight sector is the biggest income generation in terms of the tourism product for Belize because they stay longer and that means that they are spending more money here. So we are really proud of those numbers and I know that the industry on a whole is happy with those numbers. And then for cruise, we have also been seeing increases. While we can’t say that they are record increases, they are. January we had nineteen point four four percent increase, February we have eleven point three nine percent increase and while March was a smaller increase of only one point three five percent, it is an increase nonetheless. So we think we are back on the right path in terms of growing the cruise tourism product and the cruise tourism visitation. So cumulatively we have a ten point eight percent increase in cruise arrivals for January to March. So we are very happy about that.”

Isani Cayetano

Laura Esquivel-Frampton

“What are the projections going forward in terms of arrivals and tourism activity in the country?”

Laura Esquivel-Frampton

“Going forward, again, our numbers are looking very solid. We have high hopes within the overnight sector that we will get to that three hundred thousand persons mark which is unheard of in Belize. So we are very hopeful for that. In terms of cruise tourism, our numbers project us at seven hundred thousand or so passengers for the year. Last year we ended at about six hundred and fifty thousand. We do have clearer projections for 2014 in the cruise sector because it is required that the cruise lines actually book their space with us. And so those projections for 2014 for the cruise calendar has us passing the million passenger mark. And primarily the increase tourist arrivals projected for 2014 is in the summer when we need it the most.  It’s a testimony to anyone in the industry from the minister and cabinet, the ministry, the B.T.B. and of course the property owners themselves, the tour operators themselves; everybody coming together when things were not so great and putting it out there; putting in all the extra hard work; putting in the extra hours, visiting who we needed to visit to ensure that Belize would remain front of mine. So that whenever the economy in our main market, the U.S., whenever they rebounded, we would be prepared to take on those guests. And it was a lot of making those connections with travel agents and wholesalers who are very key influencers; even if people do not book with them, they look to them for that advice.”

Along with stellar numbers in tourism arrivals to the Jewel so far, the B.T.B. also announced the appointment of its new Cruise and Regional Initiatives Director.  Valdemar Andrade, whose work as Technical Advisor and Project Liaison for the Sustainable Tourism Program caught the attention of B.T.B. directors, has been selected to assist in the development of cruise tourism initiatives and programs.

Channel 5

#463049 - 04/25/13 06:41 AM Re: Tourism Numbers Boom, Cruise Tourism Still Lagging [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

BTB Releases Impressive Figures For Quarterly Report

The Belize Tourism Board presented a positive tourism report today as they released their first quarterly figures. The report shows that 2013 started out on an all-time high for Belize’s Tourism Industry, having documented record numbers for the first quarter. The trends in the first quarter of 2013 tourist arrivals are suggestive of 2012’s patterns, in which substantial numbers were recorded per month.

Figures show that the last time there was a decrease in any month for tourist arrivals was October of 2011 making it nineteen consecutive months of increases in overnight tourist arrivals to Belize.

There was a record high in arrivals by air in January, February and March of 2013, showing a 7.58%, 6.0% and 10.1% increases respectively, compared to 2012. This year the month of March recorded 28,623 tourist arrivals, which is over 5,200 more than last year’s March total of 25,982. Of note is that this is the first time in history that arrivals by air exceeded the 28,000 visitor mark for any month. All in all airport tourist arrivals showed 8.1% growth in this year’s first quarter, in comparison to last year.

All in all, airport tourist arrivals showed 8.1% growth in this year’s first quarter, in comparison to last year.

As it pertains to overnight tourist arrivals, the months of January, February and March recorded increases of 17.2%, 11.6% and 11% respectively. BTB boasts that for the first time ever, overnight visitors exceeded 35,000 visitors in March 2013. The previous all-time high was 32,240 visitors in March of the previous year. Overall, the overnight tourist arrivals statistics indicate that there was a 13% growth over 2012’s first quarter.

Despite dismal cruise arrivals last year, 2013’s first quarter showed notable increases. There was a 19.4% increase in arrivals in January, and an 11.4% increase in arrivals in February, compared to last year’s statistics. In addition, March saw a modest increase of 1.4% over the previous year, all of which resulted in a total of 10.9% increase in cruise arrivals in the first three months of this year.



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