Do you have information regarding the number of visitors that go to Placencia, Caye Caulker, and Ambergris Caye?
The best information I have on this is from a 2003 Belize Tourism
Board Visitor Expenditure and Motivation study, released in 2004. It
was a survey of 2,381 visitors at the international airport. It’s
possible that the BTB has a more recent version of this VEM study. I
This study showed where these visitors stayed in Belize. They may
have visited an area but didn’t overnight there. Some visitors stayed
in two or more areas.
Ambergris Caye ... 31.9%
Caye Caulker ... 26.3%
Belize City/District ... 26.1%
Cayo ... 24.1%
Placencia ... 12.3%
Other Stann Creek ... 8.4%
Orange Walk ... 7.4%
Corozal ... 6.3%
Other Cayes ... 6.3%
Belmopan ... 4.7%
Toledo ... 4.0%
Other Areas ... 1.3%
Now, if you look take the total overnight arrivals of 251,655 (2007),
you get these numbers of overnight visitors (those who stay at least
one night) in the three areas Candace Leong is interested in:
Ambergris Caye ... 80,278
Caye Caulker ... 65,682
Placencia ... 30,954
Of course there are four big limitations to this data: 1) It’s five
years old, 2) It extrapolates from total overnight arrivals including
those coming in by land, whereas in fact only about 73% of overnight
tourists arrive by air 3) It excludes cruise ship day visitors 4) It
excludes overnight tourists who may visit one of these areas only for
a day visit.
There was a detailed study done in late 2006 of cruise ship arrivals
(roughly 600,000 in 2008), but it does not specifically state how many
of these passengers visited San Pedro and Caulker (I would assume
essentially none visited Placencia). Of course there are large
numbers of cruise passengers who come to Hol Chan.
Also, in 2008 Michael Fox did a report on visitors to Ambergris Caye.
Fox’ study concludes that as of 2007 there were 1443 hotel rooms on
Ambergris Caye, with an average annual occupancy of 49.5%. If you
figure an average of 2 persons per room, that means there would be an
average of 1429 overnight tourists on the island on the average night
year round. Of course most visitors stay longer than one night. If
you use an average 6-night stay, then the total of around 86,000
annually is pretty close to the 2003 VEM study.