Turning to Tourism matters, the press asked Minister Anthony Mahler for the latest assessment on how the tourism industry is performing at this time. Here are his comments:

Mahler was also asked about the negative impacts that the COVID regulations continue to have on the tourism industry. He said that the government continues trying to tweak that balance of lives versus livelihoods:

Channel 7


Tourism Outlook Improving: Additional Flights Arriving in November

Belize has a robust tourism high season approaching, despite the fact that the Delta variant swept through Belize in July, forcing another cutback on tourism arrivals and mass gatherings and other social events. Today Minister of Tourism, Anthony Mahler shared that more flights will start to arrive in Belize this month.

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism

“On November nineteenth, Alaska Airlines will start flying into Belize from Seattle and from L.A., and then on December tenth, I believe, Frontier will start to fly from Denver and Orlando. So that will add new capacity. We will also get back Southwest Airlines, which bring about twenty-five percent of the traffic through the airport. And then Westjet and some other airlines that used to come to Belize will return. So we’re expecting to be about – in terms of airline capacity – about a hundred and fifteen to a hundred and twenty persons of where we were in 2019 and hopefully, going into the next year, we can begin to open up the borders some more so that we can have easier access because traffic through the borders represents about twenty percent of all the overnight traffic. As to cruise, we restarted cruise somewhere around July, and we’ve seen a gradual build-up. Some days we have back to back days, some days we have three-ship days and so we have always had the approach that it is going to be gradual, just like overnight. It took us to reach seventy, seventy-five percent of where we were and now cruise is on that path back. We believe that 2022 will be a robust year for us with the marketing campaigns that we do and with the partnerships that we’ve created.”

Mahler said the Ministry is looking at how the recent Statutory Instrument that required tourists to present vaccination cards at restaurants, and the subsequent cancellations as a result, impacted the hotels. He added that he and his counterparts throughout the region discussed recently how they would reopen their economies fully but safely. In tandem with that, Mahler said that at the next Cabinet meeting, he will present a paper asking for certain considerations that would put Belize on similar footing.

Channel 5