Belize City, Wednesday, August 20, 2003Latest immigration records indicate that the number of visitors arriving in Belize via the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) for July 2003 is the highest ever recorded for the month of July.
A total of 13,779 passengers arrived in July of this year, as compared to 11,309 persons in July 2002. This represents a significant 21.8 percent increase and notably marks the ninth consecutive record-breaking month of tourist arrivals.
These recent figures attest to the Belize Tourism Board’s vigorous efforts in international and local marketing of Belize as a prime vacation destination. These initiatives include, but are not limited to, several specialized media tours of the country hosted by the BTB in collaboration with various members of the private sector. These tours are presented to numerous international media entities that undoubtedly share in promoting Belize as a key holiday retreat.
Between June 22 and 26 of this year, the editor of American Archaeology was hosted in Belize to gather first-hand information for a feature magazine article on archaeology in Belize with an emphasis on the impressive Caracol Mayan site. Also in country on a far-reaching exploration was Heidi Ridgley of the publication National Wildlife Foundation. Her visit also included stops at South Water Caye, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. From June 15 through June 20, the BTB with the kind assistance from El Pescador Fishing Lodge hosted the crew and guests of ESPN 2, including LA Lakers basketball celebrity Brian Shaw and his wife, which resulted in Belize being featured on ESPN 2 programs“Fly Fishing the World” and “Destinations Outdoors.”
In July, the ABC hit reality show “The Bachelor” also visited Belize where they filmed one of the special dates for an upcoming season.
In addition to being showcased for media tours, Belize has also made its way to the covers of two reputable consumer magazines Condenast Traveler and Travel & Leisure. Belize appeared on the August 2003 covers of both magazines and featured in the respective editorial articles.
Director of Tourism Tracy Taegar comments, “Numbers have the potential to show that goals and initiatives are being actualized. And I think these figures do just that.” Taegar further states, “Our goal has been to establish mutually beneficial relationships between the public and private sector so as to encourage visitors to share our country and its glorious attractions. The numbers reveal that people are in fact coming, and that is our aim.”