Friday, July 19, 2024

Post-Covid tourism in Belize; Tourism Ministry says arrivals on the rise


During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Belize’s economy plummeted after the tourism industry came to a grinding halt. Fast-forward to 2023, the tourism industry has returned, but some believe it doesn’t compare to 2019. On Thursday, September 28th, the Ministry of Tourism shared an update on the state of the industry, citing that the overnight arrivals continue to show improvement and the upcoming high season is expected to be very successful.
Chief Executive Officer Evan Tillett in the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations said more carriers and airlifts to Belize are increasing tourist arrivals. He confirmed that the numbers are yet to match or surpass those of 2019, but they continue to see an increase in overnight arrivals. Tillet added that they have noticed that visitors are extending their length of stay in Belize, which means they further support the local economy.
Tillett explained that from a revenue perspective, Belize is doing well in tourism. “That is because we have extended the average length of stay for visitors. It went from 6.3 days to now just about nine days,” said Tillett. The CEO indicated that they expected the industry to reach the pre-Covid levels by 2024. “We will be there and beyond 2019 numbers,” he noted.
This time of year, some hotels and restaurants temporarily close for renovations in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Others offer deals to attract domestic tourism and international visitors traveling during the low season. San Pedranos are reporting a good season but said it could be better and are looking forward to the upcoming high season. However, some islanders shared that it is time for the country to diversify tourism and not only depend on the North American market.

On different occasions, the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora has spoken about diversifying the markets to attract more visitors to Belize. According to the ministry, this will expand the tourism season in the country, benefiting thousands of Belizeans working in this industry. The ministry said they are working on attracting and opening routes between Belize and Mexico, other parts of Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and the first flight to the Jewel from Europe

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