Minister Mahler gave an update on the tourism numbers. The industry seems to be bouncing back harder than what was previously expected and the number of tourists who come into the country via the airport are expected to return to 100% - and surpass that - very soon.
Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism
"Just a few weeks ago the CDC assigned a level 1 for us in terms of their travel advisory which makes us one of the safest destinations in the world. That allows us to push hard and my team here for the marketing department at the BTB can tell you that we've use this as a part of our marketing campaign to advise people and to educate people to tell them how safe Belize is and in fact the experts were saying that tourism would rebound in a year and a half, two, maybe even three, but I am pleased to say that today in May we saw 70% of arrivals in May when it compared to pre-covid levels and June is trending towards 80-82% and that is even without all the airline capacity that we expect to have, so Southwest isn't back as yet, they are coming later on this year. We have just signed up with Alaska Airlines, which is going to put a new route into Seattle and 4 flights from LA per week and we have WestJet that is coming back later on this year. Air Canada hopefully next year and some other airlines that we are dealing with out of Europe and in the United States should be next year. So, by the end of this year, early next year we should be about 110-115% of pre-covid levels in terms of airline capacity. We've just opened the borders and we see that trending upwards. We had projected 8-9 months before it started to really take off. Just like the airport it took almost 8 months to be here today."