The BTB also has a different spin on Belize's numbers:
Belize Tourism Board
Central Bank Building, Level 2
Gabourel Lane, Belize City
Tel: 223-1913, Fax: 223-1943, E-mail: email@example.com
For Immediate Press Release:
Total Tourism Arrivals for 2004 Continue to Show Increased Growth
Belize City, Tuesday, February 1st, 2005– Belize has been the one of the only countries within the Caribbean to experience increases with respect to overall tourist arrivals since 1998. The year 2004 has proven similarly successful for arrivals predominantly through the two key ports of entry, being the Philip Goldson International Airport and Fort Street Tourism Village.
As the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) arrivals represent approximately 70 percent of total overnight arrivals in Belize, these figures take on significant magnitude. There were 9 record-breaking months of tourist arrivals via PGIA. Arrivals for the four quarters of 2004 recorded increases of 10.7 percent, 1.7 percent, 5.4 percent, and 10.1 percent respectively over the corresponding quarters of 2003. Total arrivals at the PGIA from January –December 2004 stood at a record 7.0 percent increase over last year.
Arrivals from all border points, inclusive of PGIA, Santa Elena Border Station, Belize Western Border Station, Dangriga Town Seaport, Punta Gorda Seaport, for the period January – December, 2004 recorded an overall increase of 4.7 percent over the same period in 2003.
On a similar note, these increases in overnight tourism arrivals are additionally reflected in hotel tax revenues. Hotel taxes collected as of the end of December 2004, indicate that room revenues for overnight arrivals total BZ$92,511,619.00, representing an exceptional growth of 17 percent over 2003 total of BZ$78.9 million dollars.
The Hotels Department reported that employment in the hotel sector was up once again. Employment in the hotel sector stood at 3,770 or a 9.4 percent increase over the 3,447 figure for 2003. Of that 3,770, there were 1,886 males and 1,884 females. It is also noteworthy that approximately BZE$24 million dollars in new hotel developments or renovation of existing hotel infrastructure was made for 2004.
Cruise statistics for the period January – December 2004, have reached yet another milestone. The month of December recorded an unprecedented high of 103,690, representing an increase of 11.3 percent over the figure as for last year’s corresponding month. The 2004 year’s total illustrated a solid upsurge of just about 48 percent over that of 2003, as Belize welcomed a total of 851,436 visitors to her shores at year’s end January to December 2004. This represents a total of 406 cruise ship calls to Belize in 2004.
“The fascination of Belize as a vacation destination continues to increase, and Belize is quickly becoming the favored destination,” comments Tourism Director, Tracy Panton. “Marketing and Public Relations efforts continue by both the private and public sectors to add greater visibility to Belize. These increases also symbolize greater economic opportunities for local entrepreneurs, who are encouraged to become stakeholders and owners in this budding industry.”
For more information on events taking place in Belize’s tourism industry, please contact the Marketing Department at the Belize Tourism Board at 223-1913, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.travelbelize.org
Marketing & Public Relations Dept.
Belize Tourism Board
Central Bank Building Level 2
P.O. Box 325
Belize City, Belize C.A.
Toll Free Info: 1800-624-0686
Belize......Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret!!!!!!!!!