The final figures for the 2022 tourist arrivals will be released in the days ahead, but at the Belize Tourism Industry Association A.G.M. today, stakeholders were talking about the boom that they had experienced during the end of the year, which we all know is the peak of the high season for tourism. One hotel, in particular, reported that it is the best they've done in several years. C.E.O. Nicole Solano, of the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, confirmed that tourist arrivals did not surpass the 2019 pre-pandemic figures, but properties did generate higher revenues.

Nicole Solano, C.E.O., Ministry of Tourism & Diaspora Relations

"We are very pleased with the year 2022. The performance of the industry was very good. The actual number of travellers who arrived in Belize in 2022 were not as high as 2019, but what we are seeing is that revenues are higher so the properties are actually able to maximise revenue opportunities even though the numbers are less. And that's good because we want quality over quantity, right. We have to be careful about mass tourism and too many tourists. So if we are able to generate the revenues from less numbers then that is a good thing for our destination and in line with our sustainability goals. Belizeans continue to travel within Belize and so we have Belizeans that want to experience the tourism product at home. We also have the Belizeans that live abroad that come home that want to experience Belize. With all the buzz that's happening out there, Belizeans who are abroad are very proud; they are excited to hear Belize and see Belize in such a positive light that they themselves want to come home and be tourists in their own country. So there is a lot of opportunity and definitely the tourism stakeholders, the hotels, the operators, all of the sites and attractions, they are ready to continue catering to Belizeans who live here and those who live abroad. We are at the highest point of the high season or coming off of that after the holidays. Things have been very positive throughout the country and I keep on hearing a lot of very good feedback. 2023 looks good. The projection for business in this coming year is also very positive, so the work that we do today is really what is going to impact us in 2024."

Channel 5