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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline
by Lan Sluder,

Overnight tourist arrivals totaled 251,655 in 2007, up less than 2% from 2006, according to figures from the Belize Immigration Department. Cruise arrivals declined again, to 624,128, down about 5% from 2006. This continues a decline in cruise ship arrivals since the peak of more than 851,000 in 2004. This represents a decline of about 27% since the peak. The number of cruise ships calling on Belize City also declined, from 406 in 2004 to 278 in 2007.

Visitors from the U.S. continue to make up the majority of Belize overnight visitors, 152,569 of the 251,655 visitors in 2007, or about 61% of total tourist visitation. Europeans constitute about 14% of overnight visitors, a percentage that has actually declined slightly since 2003, when it was 15%. Canadian visitors represent about 6.6% of overnight tourists, up from 4.4% in 2003. Guatemalans make up about 5.6% of tourist visitors, while Belizeans living abroad represent about 3.6%.

Hotel occupancy and revenue figures for 2007 aren't yet available. Belize Tourism Board figures from 2006 show that there were 561 hotels in Belize, with 5,789 rooms and 9,651 beds. Annual hotel occupancy in 2006 was 42.9% nationwide (hotel occupancy was around 66% in the U.S. in 2007), and hotel revenues totaled US$56.4 million. Hotel revenue per room, a widely used industry statistic, was US$9,743. Actual Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar) per night, another widely used yardstick, was US$26.69. The average RevPar in Central and South America in 2007 was US$75.

The statistically average hotel in Belize has 10 rooms and grosses around US$100,000 annually, or revenue of about US$10,000 per room.

--Lan Sluder

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,822
JZB Offline
I thought overnight tourism would have increased more than <2%. I wonder what is the percentage increase of new hotel rooms for 2007. How many of the total arrivals visit AC?
Interesting numbers...

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 3,281
Last year was the slowest I have had in 10 + years of selling exclusively Belize. This year so far seems better (fingers crossed). Time will tell. The increase of available rooms splitting the pie even further should make some kind of impact. I still say there is already a GLUT of hotel rooms. Never a good thing. But the building goes on....

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,888
61% from the US. I thought Americans didn't travel?

42% occupancy rate will drop to about 30% with all of the new construction.

Barb, in your opinion, will airliners arrive full from Europe if there are no mega (Marriott, Sheraton, Hilton etc.) resorts to put them all?

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 21
Europeans will arrive when it is easier to get there I reckon! It is taking us 25 hours from London on friday.

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,416
42% occupancy rate,,
the way to increase that is to double the amount of overnight rooms? DUH!
it boggles my beer-soaked mind,,,

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 3,281
I'd have to agree with rach - Euorpeans MAY arrive when it is more of a direct flight without having to go thru the US and when it gets more affordable (I guess as the dollar & dollah decline, it is getting more affordable in a round about way!) There are a lot of places to go in or close to Europe for great beaches, diving, fishing for way less $$ and hassle. There has to be some kind of big draw to get them to come to little Belize. If the reefs continue to die out and the rainforest gets chopped away, what would be the draw? Maybe Mayan ruins for some archeology buffs. I don't think mega US owned hotels will have anything to do with it. Europeans tend to travel more in the summer and the hotels Belize has now (or are in progress) could easily house a planeful every week, with rooms to spare. I seriously doubt there will ever be more than weekly or bi weekly air service from Europe. Belize will never be able to compete pricewise with what the Mexican Riviera has to offer since those resorts are so heavily Gov't subsidized, Cancun has so much direct & charter air service, and in most people's perceptions, offers basically the same stuff Belize has to offer at twice the cost.

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Of course there are some hotels in Belize that have very high occupancy rates.

Chaa Creek, for example, had 90% occupancy in January and February, and 95% in March (according to someone in management there).

I don't have inside information, but I'd guess that places like Victoria House, Turtle Inn, Inn at Robert's Grove, Chan Chich, Blancaneaux, Xanadu, Banana Beach, Cayo Espanto and some others have 80%+ occupancy most of the year and some of these are at near 100% in peak months. They are doing really well, considering that they are all relatively small places with little money for marketing and no well-known international brand.

Uniqueness, or at least a real differential advantage, is what makes the difference. A special setting, atmosphere, service or value.

So many places open and do a pretty good job. But that's like opening a restaurant and serving pretty good food. You may make it and stay in business, but you're never going to be truly successful enough to grow and open other restaurants unless you offer something really special.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,208
I am definitely biased, as I chose Belize as my home and love it dearly, and probably overly optimistic, but I believe that there are many opportunities for attracting European tourists to Belize in preference to Mexico.

Belize is very different from Mexico and needs to market that fact creatively when European flights start coming. Because of the cost to travel to Central America instead of traditional European destinations close to home, European travelers are likely to be somewhat more discerning in their choices.

The unique and less obvious attractions of Belize should be trumpeted as well as the more obvious ones. Let's think about driving down the Hummingbird Highway, the Garifuna community, the wildlife reserves, the barrier reef, so close you can see it from shore and off some cayes, even touch it, hundreds of cayes to visit, Maya ruins that aren't like disneyland yet, the precious Belize Zoo, the drumming, the punta, Belizean food and hospitality, the broad flat savaanahs, the rivers, Hol Chan, the grand slam fishing opportunities, the mountains, the caves, the Maya villages, the waterfalls, the mennonites - must I go on?

The exchange rates are much easier to understand and English is the national language. There are no real chains, no Hard Rock Cafe etc. Belize truly offers something different and a big part of that is that you get what you pay for. I believe Europeans understand that concept and given the choice would prefer to come to a place unspoilt and spend a little bit more.
Belize Wedding Photography

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 5,255
IMHO - chaa creek is heavily advertised all over the place and has managed to be on nearly every travel show i have seen on the bz mainland. co-incidentally, the show hosts always had a lovely (comped?)suite to stay in and show off there...that might have something to do with it.

also consider that many US travel agents have not been to bz and only know 3-4 places to stay exist. that's how, years ago, i got roped into journey's end...the agent only had that and ramon's on their list of hotels, and i had already been to ramon's. thank goodness i later found this message board...

of course my selfish side hopes cruisers will stop coming altogether, and no one else new ever finds belize...

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