B.T.B. expects tourism arrivals to continue going up
It’s been a good year so far for tourism and recent statistics show significant improvement over the first eight months of last year. While cruise tourism is lagging behind slightly, the number of overnight visitors is on a steady increase, which is expected to continue for the rest of the year due to the Maya celebrations. On a month to month basis, May had the largest growth this year, by fourteen percent, when compared to May 2011. This is followed by June, which had a thirteen point one percent increase and March with twelve point six percent. Airport arrivals are also up by fifteen percent or twenty thousand, two hundred and fourteen visitors when compared to 2011. The Director of Marketing and Industry Relations at the Belize Tourism Board, Alyssa Carnegie, spoke to News Five about the current stats and their expectations for the coming months.
Alyssa Carnegie, Director, Marketing & Industry Relations
“Very exciting, this year from January to August, we’re up eight point five percent when compared to last year, 2011; that’s cumulatively. We’re excited because it looks like if things continue the way we’re going, by November we’ll be actually at the overall arrivals we saw for last year, 2011. So that’s pretty exciting for us. August actually had an increase of eleven point one percent this year compared to last year, 2011 and I think it’s over fifteen thousand overnight visitors so we’re very excited, very pleased.”
“And how are we doing in the cruise tourism visitors?”
“Well, the cruise tourism, we’re not doing as well as we’d like but it’s during the slow season right now and then considering for August as well, we did have Hurricane Ernesto that was here and we did cancel I think two calls to Belize were canceled during the week and that amounted to about seven thousand passengers that didn’t arrive. So while it’s not as high as the overnight, it’s still something that we’re working towards and I think heading into the high season, we’ll be seeing a lot more.”
“So we’re there any particular months that had a high spike or dip or anything like that?”
“I think March of this year was actually the highest. We exceeded over thirty-two thousand overnight visitors. It’s the first time in recorded history that we’ve ever exceeded thirty-two thousand in one month. So that was our spike. Belize has a lot to offer to locals, to international visitors as well and we’re really trying to make sure that Belize is well promoted, that we share it with everyone and the work doesn’t stop. We’re going to continue to do our best to make sure that everybody benefits from all of the good work.”