Tourism Soared To Record High in 2016

Posted By: Marty

Tourism Soared To Record High in 2016 - 01/12/17 05:54 AM

The BTB says that 2016 was the best year ever for tourism; it recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals in 20 years.

The numbers show a total of 385,583 overnight arrivals, a 13% increase from 2015 translating into 45 thousand more visitors. As we reported, there was one month that showed a decline, which was 1.3% in November, and December showed a slowdown in the overall growth trend with an only 1.5% increase in arrivals.

So while the year ended on an iffy note, overnight arrivals were up sharply in the first 10 months of the year, going up as much as 27% in September.

Cruise tourism also showed growth with a 4.9% increase in arrivals in 2016. And another record was broken because for the first time cruise passenger arrivals exceeded one million visitors. Of course, tour operators on the ground say the industry is faring worse than ever for locals, but the BTB boasts that the month of October showed a 38% increase in cruise arrivals.

The Highest Overnight Arrivals in 20 Years
The year 2016 culminated with another significant achievement for the tourism industry, boasting the highest overnight arrivals in twenty years. 2016 has proven to be the most successful year for Belize’s overnight tourism sector.

With an overall increase of 13% in comparison to 2015, this translates to 44,422 additional visitors enjoying the beauty of our Jewel; the largest increase reflected in the past 20 years. As depicted in the graph below, the growth in the industry continues.

Cruise Passenger Arrivals exceeded 1 million for the first time
Cruise tourism also reflected growth with a 4.9% increase in arrivals in comparison to 2015. Another record was broken as this sector for the first time saw cruise passenger arrivals exceeding one million visitors. The launch of Harvest Caye in November 2016 contributed to the boost in cruise passenger arrivals, particularly in the last quarter.

These successes are credited to the vigorous marketing, product development and expansion efforts of the Stakeholders in the industry and, with similar efforts and collaboration continuing into 2017, it is expected to see these increasing trends continue.

Posted By: Marty

Re: Tourism Soared To Record High in 2016 - 02/15/17 06:37 AM

Belize among the Caribbean countries recording strongest tourism growth

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) yesterday unveiled its report on the performance of the tourism sector across the Caribbean for 2016. The report said that while only 48% of the reporting destinations registered growth during the year, with the best performances occurring in the Dominican Republic, the British Virgin Islands and Grenada, which all grew by double digits, Belize became the 8th destination to record over one million cruise passenger visits that year.

The report added that Belize was actually one of 7 Caribbean destinations which recorded double digit increases within their reporting periods. The other countries in the group are the Turks & Caicos Islands, Bermuda, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada and Montserrat.

“Caribbean tourism continues to break new ground, surpassing 29 million arrivals for the first time in our history, and once again we have grown faster than the global average,” said Hugh Riley, CTO Secretary General.

The CTO reported that total visitor expenditure is estimated to have increased by approximately 3.5% to reach US$35.5 billion. “Despite political uncertainties, security and economic challenges in our main source markets, tourist arrivals to the Caribbean increased by 4.2 per cent in 2016, better than the 3.9 per cent overall internationally,” Riley said.

As is the case for Belize, the United States continued to be the Caribbean’s primary long-stay market, increasing by three-and-a-half per cent and providing just about half of all arrivals, Riley added.

In dissecting the 2016 numbers, CTO’s Acting Director of Research, Ryan Skeete, said: “2016 marked another record-setting year as for the first time in our history we received over 29 million arrivals. This is also the 7th consecutive year of growth and our estimated 4.2% increase in tourism trips is the 3rd consecutive year above the global growth rate.”

A month ago the Belize Tourism Board reported that Belize was boasting its highest level of overnight arrivals in 20 years with a growth of 13%. Meanwhile, cruise tourist arrivals grew by 4.9% to over a million tourists.

“The contributing factors to these performances included greater air access from the source markets to the region and the realization of significant investments to enhance infrastructure (airport redevelopment) and product (hotels),” the CTO information said.

The report said that, “2016 was also a record-breaking year for Caribbean cruising, as cruise passenger arrivals to the region grew by about 1.3% to reach 26.3 million, in line with expectations at the beginning of 2016.”

The CTO said that the forecast is for tourist arrivals in the Caribbean to grow at a slower rate of between 2.5 and 3.5% in 2017.

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