If you've been to any of Belize's tourism hotspots this
summer, you would have noticed that what was once
considered the slow season has turned into a very
busy time of year. And today we have the statistics to
prove it. The latest tourism arrival figures for July at
the international airport show a massive twenty-one
point eight percent increase over the same month last
year: thirteen thousand, seven hundred and
seventy-nine visitors in July 2003, versus eleven
thousand, three hundred and nine in July 2002. That is
an all time record number for July and marks the ninth
consecutive month of record-breaking tourist arrivals.
Year to date totals for the first seven months of the
2003 indicate a whopping nineteen point one percent
increase over 2002...and this does not include the
doubling of cruise ship arrivals, which increased from a
hundred and forty-four thousand in the first seven
months of 2002 to two hundred and ninety-four
thousand for the same period this year. Industry
sources cite improved marketing efforts, positive
media exposure and Belize's unique position as an
exotic yet safe destination as reasons for the
country's increased popularity.