Travel Pulse is an online publication headquartered in New Jersey, USA and functions as a news source as it relates to tourism, cruise lines and the travel industry on a whole. At the end of 2015, a publication on the outlook of Caribbean and Latin America was posted with an overview of the areas that are expected to flourish in the New Year in the tourism sector. For Belize, several areas of interest were noted in the article including the Harvest Caye debut in the country as well as how Belize would cope as a, quote, ‘once sleepy exotic destination’ to a destination for mass tourism.
The three paragraphs on Belize stated, quote, “Norwegian Cruise Line is expected to debut Harvest Caye, a $50 million private cruise development featuring a floating ship pier, an island village, a lagoon for water sports and a beach area, in February. Located off the coastal town of Placencia, the project has been kept close to the vest by Norwegian officials, although it’s expected to have a significant impact on tourism to Belize, whose intimate character is undergoing change amidst strong tourist arrivals growth. Harvest Caye’s debut will boost the country’s already strong cruise sector growth.
Despite lacking a dedicated ship pier and terminal, Belize is on the verge of becoming the eighth Caribbean Tourism Organization destination to exceed one million annual cruise ship visitors. Belize hosted 986,131 cruise passengers in 2014, an explosive 42.9 percent increase over the 677,350 cruise vacationers hosted in 2013. Despite a slowdown in 2015, Belize’s land-based tourism has also surged in recent years. Last year Belize recorded 321,217 land-based, overnight visitors, a 9.2 percent increase over 2013. While the 101,747 tourist arrivals hosted between January and March represents a slight 1.1 percent increase over 2014, the country is still considered on track to continue as a fast-growing Caribbean travel destination.” End of quote.
The article also made reference to a statement by the Prime Minister regarding the construction of a new airport. The paragraph says, quote, “Indeed in September Dean Barrow, Belize’s prime minister, said the government would seek to build a new international airport on Ambergris Caye, one of the country’s top off-shore island destinations. The question for Belize is how the transition to mass tourism will impact the once-sleepy exotic destination.” End of quote. Travel Pulse also featured other countries including Brazil, Antigua, St Vincent and the Grenadines, among other countries.LOVEFM