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Data gathered and compared between 2014 and 2015 shows that Belize is steadily growing in popularity for overnight visitors. The Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) accounted for 75.02% of the overnight sector in 2015. This figure showed a 7% increase in arrivals through the PGIA in comparison to 2014 figures.
The tourism sector is one of the most important economic contributors of Belize and accounts for 12.8% of employment as shown in 2015. The industry continues to see heavy investments through government and private sectors.
For more detailed information, download the latest Belize Tourism Digest:
Belize City, Belize – January 20, 2016 – In 2015, the overnight tourism industry experienced many firsts and record-breaking numbers which lead to an overall growth of 6.2% or 19,900 over 2014. Despite an unsteady first and second quarter, Belize had seven straight months of arrival increases, the bulk of the which occurred in the last four months. September to December of 2015 showed record improvements with overnight arrivals increasing every month in comparison to last year’s figures. September had an increase of 19.3%, October 22.1%, November 33% and December, a 22.5% increase.
November’s 33% increase is the largest ever recorded for this month, which rarely goes above a 10% increase. The month of December saw 39,977 overnight visitors to Belize, which is the first time in history that a month in overnight arrivals has approached 40,000.
The month of December has historically been a busy time of year for overnight tourist traffic into Belize. It officially marks the beginning of the tourism high season, as visitors from North America vacation in the Caribbean and Central America to escape the winter weather.
2015 also marked the beginning of South West and COPA Airlines’ flights to Belize in October and December respectively, boosting overnight arrivals through the international airport. Since the first flight of Copa Airlines in December, South American visitors has increased 50.3% when compared to 2014. Airport arrivals accounted for majority of the overnight arrivals with around 75.02% of the overall overnight figure. The total increase in Airport Arrivals for 2015 was 7%. All these factors culminated in a strong increase in visitor traffic in the latter months of the year.
Cruise Arrivals 2015 vs 2016
Overnight Arrivals 2015 vs 2016
In 2015, there was a total of 957,975 cruise passenger arrivals recorded. This was a minor dip of -1% when compared to 2014. In the last quarter of 2015, October recorded a drop of 29.2%, but an increase in November of 9.2% (81,113 passengers) and in December of 1.6% (143,598 passengers). During 2015, there was only 1 cruise call cancellation in the last quarter of the year amounting to a total of 3,070 less passengers arriving to Belize. Finally, in December, Belize received the newest Cruise line – the MSC Divina.
About the Belize Tourism Board
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is a statutory body within the Belize Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation. It is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation. The BTB works in conjunction with members of the private sector – including the Belize Hotel Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association and Belize National Tour Operators Association – and is dedicated to building tourism in the most economically and environmentally sustainable manner. As a part of its responsibilities, the BTB promotes Belize as a premier tourism destination to both in-country and international consumers. Among its outreach to the international travel market, the BTB markets the country’s unique attractions to travellers, members of the travel trade industry and media outlets in key markets.
The BTB is also dedicated in developing and implementing tourism programs that fosters growth and the strengthening of Belize’s tourism industry, its focus is on continued improvement of the quality standards for accommodations and the overall traveller experience. For more information on the BTB and its services, visit www.travelbelize.org.