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#516685 - 08/08/16 05:35 PM WestJet now flying to Belize
Marty Offline



WestJet, one of Canada’s largest airlines, has announced a new direct route to Belize starting October 29. First Direct Flight Established Between Canada and Belize .

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Belize! Yes, we’re thrilled to announce Belize as our latest new destination. In fact, “new destination” doesn’t quite convey our enthusiasm – “exciting and new” destination (shout-out to you Love Boat fans) does the trick a bit better. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get down to the business of answering a few questions about Belize, our exciting and new destination.

First: where is Belize? Belize is tucked into the Caribbean coast of Central America, just south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and bordered to the west by Guatemala. It’s a largely unspoiled little gem of a country, with an average year-round temperature of 29 degrees Celsius. Which brings us to the next question: when is the best time to visit Belize? Answer: any time the spirit moves you. If it’s the quintessential Caribbean experience you’re after, with great beaches, amazing clear blue skies and hot, sunny days, then plan your Belize getaway for the high season ­– December to April. From May to November, you’ll experience the rainy season; the good news there is that rainy season in Belize is in Belize.

Idyllic Caribbean location and a perfect climate – two great reasons to put Belize on the “next vacation list” Want to know why else you should visit Belize? We’ll give you five reasons. First: the people here are delightful. Friendly. Passionate. And English is the official language of Belize, making it a bit easier for first-time English-speaking visitors to navigate their way.

Reason five why you should visit Belize: whale sharks and jaguars. Yes, we know that’s technically two reasons, but “whale sharks and jaguars” sounds; a) cooler and more Belize-specific than “wildlife”, and b) kind of like a Tom Waits album title. Though shy and reclusive in nature, the jaguar has a strong presence in Belizean culture. In fact, Belize is the only country in the world with a dedicated jaguar reserve, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Over 44% of the land in Belize is protected as either national park or nature preserve, making it a place where you can enjoy the very essence of eco-tourism. From March to June each year, the whale sharks arrive at Gladden Split and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, about 40 km offshore from the Belize town of Placencia. Locals say that April and May are the best months for spotting whale sharks, with optimal sightings in the days after the full moon.

So, maybe in our excitement, we’ve veered all over the map a bit, from Great Blue Holes escabeche to jaguars. We’re sure you’ll discover unique sights, sounds and experiences in Belize that will make you glad you visited – and make you want to return. Mark your calendar: WestJet flights to Belize start October 29, 2016.

Westjet.com

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The Belize Tourism Board reports that Canada is a major source market for overnight visitors to Belize. With the addition of WestJet, this will no doubt result in an increase of Canadian visitors.

Director of Tourism, Karen Bevans, commented, “This is very exciting news. We have been in ongoing discussions with WestJet regarding a direct flight between Canada and Belize, and it’s now happening. A direct flight has been highly requested by visitors and Industry stakeholders, and with the news that this flight will become a reality just as we prepare for the start of our upcoming high season, we are indeed very optimistic and pleased. It will make traveling to Belize so much easier and more convenient as this will eliminate connection or layover time. This direct flight is absolutely going to boost our arrival numbers further, especially where the Canadian market is concerned.”

WestJet will depart Canada from the Toronto Pearson International Airport at 9:15 am and arrive at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport at 11:59am. It will depart Belize around 1:00pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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#518640 - 11/01/16 09:28 AM Re: WestJet now flying to Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Westjet Comes From Canada

On Saturday, Belize received its first direct flight from Canada. Before this weekend, Canadian tourists had to endure long layovers in American cities before coming to Belize, but now they have a non-stop connection. Philip Goldson International will now welcome 2 weekly flights directly from the Toronto'S Pearson International Airport. Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, came on the first flight and he discussed the impact this new connection will have on the tourism industry..

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism
"So this one is a milestone for Belize. I think it is something great, from a new country. As you know the USA has been our greatest, greatest market. Today, with Canada, I believe it will even improve the already substantial increase in percentage of tourists arriving to our country, but it is a team work. Everybody coming together and doing what we really need to do to be able to convince the people that Belize is a paradise, Belize is a place where anybody is welcome, particularly the hospitality of our people. Aside from that, the abundance of products that we have to offer, makes Belize so unique, makes airlines so as soon as the executives are here, they are enchanted. They are overwhelmed with what we have, and WestJet was no exception. When the executives arrived, we toured them around and they fell in love with Belize and that is what makes the difference. Today we witnessed the arrivals, full capacity plane, completely full, and I am hoping that the return will be likewise. And I am hoping that the twice a week, for a few months, and eventually I Belize that it will be a daily flight as we enter the Canadian market."

Minister Heredia also told us about the plans to market Belize as a major tourist destination in other parts of the world, and connect with other airlines.

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism
"I say it every time that I speak, every time that I give an interview, that it's all a team work. It is not the Minister, it is not government in itself, it is not BTB, it is the private sector, the concessions company, everybody coming together. This is for all Belizeans you know. It is not for the Minster or the BTB, it is for all Belizeans and if we love our country, then why not work together to accomplish what we have done. This is the third hire within months only that we have seen COPA, SouthWest, and we are looking forward into negotiations with Air Canada and British Airways to see how we can get some of those Europeans airlines over here. We are already marketing big in Europe, so we have to make sure that we have the connectivity to be able to bring these tourists to our beautiful country."

WestJet is the third new airline to introduce direct flights to Belize in the last year, and as you heard, this number is expected to increase.

Channel 7


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