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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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2006 thru 2011

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
Economy factor? Increase in costs to vacation in Belize? Or Belize losing its attractiveness to tourists?

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 333
I don't think Belize is losing its "attractiveness". The numbers for the first five months of 2012 (people arriving through the airport) were up from 2011. Given the world economic crisis, I think people are still coming to visit the Jewel, the duration just isn't as long in previous years. There are a lot of econimic factors to consider when looking at data like this. I believe there are more package offers than in prior years. People can't be away from their jobs for as long. Staycations in the States are up. When this kind of information is released, we need to know $$ spent during those years. The BTB is doing a better job at measuring statistice, they just haven't gotten the full analyses down yet. IMHO

Words have power. Speak it into existence.
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3
For what it's worth, here on Clearwater Beach, Florida USA our tourism is down 50% over prior better years ( I blame the sluggish economy and poor job market) People are not staying as long as in prior years here either. However it should be noted that we have bulldozed hundreds of "Mom & Pop" motel rooms in exchange for luxury hotel rooms. And where a decade ago you could find a decent room in a 60's Mom & Pop motel for 50.00 a night - now it is near impossible to find anything for less then 100.00 a night. Places like the Hyatt or Sand Pearl Resort typically start at 250.00 a night.
The trend with many of my guests ( I run one of the Gulf front Motels) is that they are spending a bit more on airfare to save 100.00 a night on rooms and 50% off on food, drinks & entertainment by going to places like Belize, Dominican Republic, Mexico etc... Though if one is going to Cancun - may as well go to Miami - not much difference. They all speak Spanish in Miami too.

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Or maybe the difference in length of stay is partly related to the American sickness of working all the time and even when not formally working being tied to business cells and laptops. U.S. workers have less vacation time than anybody in Europe or in a lot of other areas, and near 70% of tourists to Belize are from the U.S.

As to Clearwater Beach, I used to own property in Clearwater/Dunedin and in Safety Harbor and loved Clearwater Beach. Also used to vacation at some of those mom 'n pop motels on Clearwater Beach, which were great places to stay. Sorry that it's changed.

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,520
Obviously the big drop came in 2008 with the sharp downturn of the economy. It has stayed at a steady level (roughly) since then. Whether a day.2 is significant statistically I couldnt say, you'd need the raw data. If the graph is derived from a straight average you could be skewed by fewer longer stays or lots shorter stays since then.

Airfare prices certainly haven't helped the situation. Belize is one of the most expensive places to travel from the west coast and one of the reasons people from that region don't travel to Belize. They really want to but when they see average fares of 725 to 875 round trip from the west thats a rather dramatic difference compared to the few hundred dollars per round trip to Cancun or even Hawaii.

Most of our guests are from the midwest and east coasts of both the US & Canada. To a party they mention that even for them a trip to Belize is something that is planned well in advance so as to be able to shop the best airfares.

I'd say the economics of the country and of travel are driving a lot of this. A slant on Lan's comments would be not so much that people are enslaved by their work but that like most of the country they are leary of the economy and stashing money where they can. Maybe they dont stop vacationing but maybe they simply cut them shorter wherever they go.

As to the poor folks on the Gulf it really does make you wonder if the stigma of the Deepwater Horizon catastophe isnt still, unjustly, affecting those areas. The mom and pop operations couldnt weather it even with BP payouts, and have folded, bankrupted or sold out to larger chain operations or concerns, hence the dozing and construction mentioned by another baord member.

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 3,281
I have been selling just Belize since 1998 and I have had some of my best years in 2010, 11 & 12. Swamped with clients, for long stays (7-14 days), spending a lot more $$ than they used to. And I know plenty of people are booking trips on-line and directly with hotels, bypassing travel agents. So I am not sure where this data is coming from. Maybe the people booking on-line are only staying 3 or 4 nights? Seems hard to belive with the price they are paying for airfare.

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,436
I think it may be the rise in airfares. More people are doing the R.T. from Cancun. The exit tax from Belize is also high. So the one month vacationers are spending a week or so in Mexico. Its much cheaper for everything in Mexico..Belize needs to realize they are loosing tourist.
The days of not being able to walk or ride your bike down the streets of Caye Caulker because of the mass amounts of tourist ended about 5 yrs ago. I remember not being able to get into the Oceanside Bar, it would take 10 minutes to crawl through to get to the bar, now its empty, no other bar is full. Nothing is full, the great eateries are empty. It seemed to end when GST, airfares, and cost of everything went up. I watched a documentory on Costco..for those of you that know the U.S. Giant marketplace is, they survive by the rule of a 15 percent markup. Thats how we survive with our art Galley, and we do well. We cant outlet our products to many places here because they all want to do 100 percent mark up.
Of course the state of the world is in an economy downside, that is the main reason, but tourism is way up in affordable vacation spots. We used to be affordable, in the last 5 years the cost of visiting Belize has gone up 40 percent.

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 834
Interesting to read about the lower tourism in Caye Caulker, since San Pedro tourism seems to be busting at the seams. Especially during high season, but even low season, tourists have been quite plentiful this year. The stats I've seen have borne this out.

Former Belize expat traveling the USA & Mexico
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,000
I've seen stats a few months ago and if I remember correctly it was people flying into BZE. The numbers were up. The numbers at our resort have increased last year and we expect an increase this year. We are planning accordingly. Caye Caulker I have no knowledge of but I do go there 2 or 3 times a winter and it has seemed to be a little quite but I'm not really sure.

Three years ago I remember it as pretty quite in San Pedro though.

Formerly from somewhere on a beach in Belize
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