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Minister Mahler shared the key performance indicators for 2020. Since the reopening of the international airport in October 2020, overnight tourist arrivals were at three thousand one hundred and seventy-nine for that month, down by eighty-seven point five percent compared to 2019. That percentage carried through to November where four thousand eight hundred and fifty-six visitors came to Belize. Those numbers almost doubled in December, but it was still eighty-three point five percent less when compared to 2019. Minister Mahler says that it is not expected that the numbers will increase in the months ahead.

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism

“It is going to be difficult for us; it is going to be a continued period of stress for investors and stakeholders within the tourism industry. But there is a silver lining. The vaccine is out there, there is a distribution process in the developed world specifically and once people are vaccinated, I believe that some of these restrictions are going to be pulled back and people could start travel freely again. I was in a ministers’ meeting for the Caribbean Tourism Organization this morning and there were a few politicians from the United States and one from England and to be truthful, they are saying that they don’t want to hear about the relaxing of any restrictions at this time especially with this new variant that is seventy percent more contagious. They want to get this contained, they want to get the vaccine into the communities in their countries and until that is done efficiently and effectively, they don’t want to hear about any crying from the Caribbean or anywhere else about relaxing any protocols.”

Channel 5