Every two years I conduct a census to gather data on the hotels, condos, and vacation rentals on Ambergris Caye so the US Embassy can better serve the Americans in the case of an emergency or disaster. Due to the recession and past over-development 2014 has seen only a net increase over 2012 of approximately one hundred rooms/units. However with the uptick in the economy, we are seeing nearly 300 more rooms under construction with about 100 of these to be opened in time for the high season this December. Most of the new units are north of the river and are on the high end of the amenity scale. Some of the older condos are seeing a decrease in the number of rooms in the rental pool, as long-term owners who bought the units as an investment are now retiring and occupying their units.

For 2014 I found 1,896 units on the island. A unit is a guest accommodation that can range from a single room to a five-bedroom villa.

Wil Lala


San Pedro Warden for the US Embassy, Wil Lala, conducts a census every two years on the island to gather data on the hotels, condos and vacation homes so that the US Embassy can better serve the American citizens in case of an emergency or disaster. His census provides valuable information specific for Ambergris Caye.

The economic contribution of Ambergris Caye is huge and to appreciate how much money is generated on the island, it is important to point out some statistics. San Pedro has 154 registered hotels and resorts out of a total of 765 in the entire country. That is equivalent to 1,774 rooms out of the 7,210 registered in the entire country.

According to government figures, the tourism industry is the second largest revenue earner for the country (second to agriculture) and the main economic driving force for Ambergris Caye. Tourism contributed an estimated $1.2 billion to the countryís economy in 2013. It is estimated that 46% of that revenue collected by the GOB was contributed through the economic activities on Ambergris Caye. That figure is approximately $552 million.

GOBís sources of tourism revenue are through accommodation taxes, Hotel Application and License Fees, Live-Aboard Taxes, Cruise Head Tax, Tour Guide Licensing Fees, Tour Operator Licensing Fees, Qualified Retirement Program [QRP] Fees, General Sales Tax on Restaurant and Bar Services and Tours, Business Tax on Accommodation, Restaurant and Bar Services and Tours and Business Tax on the Sale of Condominiums.

Mr. Lalaís report indicates that due to the recession and past over-development, 2014 has seen only a net increase over 2012 of approximately 100 rooms/units. However with the uptick in the economy, the island is seeing nearly 300 more rooms under construction with about 100 of these to be opened in time for the high season this December 2014.

Most of the new units are north of the cut/bridge and are on the high end of the amenity scale. Some of the older condos are seeing a decrease in the number of rooms in the rental pool, as long-term owners who bought the units as an investment are now retiring and occupying their units.

In his survey, Lala indicates that there are 1896 units on the island for 2014. A unit is a guest accommodation that can range from a single room to a five-bedroom villa.