Manuel Heredia Jr.

At least in the first quarter of 2016, violent crime has been on the rise, in record-setting numbers. Murders in particular have been spread out across the country, including in San Pedro, Belize’s primary tourism destination. While we’ve been the subject of various advisories in the past in which tourists have been warned to exercise caution while visiting the country because of high levels of crime, Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia told News Five on Sunday that statistics show that tourism arrivals are actually on the rise.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism

“A few of the murders are probably drug-related – rivalry from two three parts and indeed I know that it is more than we expect. But local community, myself, the Ministry of National Security and the private sector are working very hard to ensure that it doesn’t affect the tourism industry. Regardless of what is happening, I would say that 99% of that is related to Belizeans or probably naturalized Belizeans living on the island already but not directly with our tourist, so thank God for that and I believe that our numbers will continue to grow as they are growing now. If you look at the PGIA for the first couple of months over twenty percent more arrivals than last year which was our record year.”

Channel 5