Recently, tourism figures have been very much in the news - and that's because for the first time in years, the numbers are going down ever so slightly. But, figures released today show that things started to pick up in June and July. After significant decline sin April and May, June showed a modest uptick of 1.6% and July was encouraging with 3.3% more arrivals. That puts the total figure for the year so far at less than a percentage point fewer arrivals than last year at this same time. That's about 1800 fewer visitors, and to explain it the BTB turns again to that tired line about Canadians not coming because their economy is in a slump and their dollars has devalued slightly. Problem with that argument is that it hasn't stopped those same Canadians form flocking in record numbers to Barbados which has the same currency peg as Belize. The only difference? Air Canada flies directly to that eastern Caribbean country.
After a record year in 2014, Cruise arrivals have been stable for 2015, and even registered a modest 0.2% growth.
BTB releases latest tourism stats
After months of showing overnight tourist arrival decreases, the industry is finally beginning, according to the Belize Tourism board.
The Belize Tourism Board released the latest tourism arrival statistics on Friday. The data underscored that tourist arrivals for January to July have begun to show improvements, with overnight arrivals showing a 1.6 percent increase in June, and three percent increase in July.
Cruise passenger arrivals have shown an overall increase of 0.2 percent.
The BTB attributed 0.8 percent drop in cumulative arrivals through the first seven months of 2015, partially to consistent decreases in the number of overnight visitors from Canada.
Statistical indicators have pointed to Canada’s economy going through a downturn, according to the BTB noted.
Alternately, the data showed that the Cruise tourism arrivals saw significant increases. The increases were seen in January and March, with a 16.6 percent and 15.8 percent increase, respectively.
In February, cruise passenger numbers decreased by 2.7 percent because two cruise ship calls were cancelled due to weather conditions.
“It is important to note that 2014 was an outlier year in regards to summer months in the cruise industry, as deployments from other regions were redirected to Belize increasing the booking calls”, the BTB also mentioned.
Bookings for 2015 have since normalized and are still showing a cumulative increase of 0.2 percent, with projections of seeing a further increase. BTB emphasized that it is currently diversifying its marketing, working on marketing initiatives into South America and Europe.
Tourist arrivals for January to July have begun to show improvements, with overnight arrivals showing a 1.6% increase in June, and 3% increase in July. Cruise passenger arrivals have shown an overall increase of 0.2%.
The 0.8% drop in cumulative arrivals through the first seven months of 2015, was partially attributed to the consistent decreases in the number of overnight visitors from the Canadian market. Statistical indicators have pointed to Canada's economy going through a downturn. Bob Michael stated (International Business Time) "The Canadian dollar fell to a three-week low against the US dollar on 30th June as data from Canada showed the economy contracted for the fifth straight month."
Cruise arrivals in 2015 have seen major increases in January and March, with 16.6% and 15.8% increase, respectively. February 2015 saw a slight decrease of 2.7% which resulted from the cancellation of two ships due to adverse weather conditions. It is important to note that 2014 was an outlier year in regards to summer months in the cruise industry, as deployments from other regions were redirected to Belize increasing the booking calls. The bookings for 2015 have maintained as scheduled and showed an increase of 0.2% cumulative.
The Belize Tourism Board projects that 2015 will see increase in overnight arrival numbers over 2014 and will continue to monitor global conditions, in the coming months. BTB is currently diversifying its marketing, working on marketing initiatives into South America and Europe.