BTB reports an increase in tourist arrivals
Thursday, October 16th, 2014
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has announced an increase in tourist arrivals for the third quarter of 2014. In a press release dated Friday, October 10th, BTB stated that both overnight and cruise ship arrivals have increased, and even exceeded, the forecasted numbers. The third quarter refers to the months of July, August and September, and is generally considered the slow season in the tourism industry, usually registering a low influx of tourist arrivals.
When compared to 2013, airport arrivals for the third quarter of 2014 saw a 3.9% increase. According to BTB, each month of the slow season registered an increase in arrivals through the Philip Goldson International Airport. The highest increase in airport arrivals for this year was in the month of July which saw a 6% increase as compared to July 2013. Overall airport arrivals went up 9.2% in the first nine months of 2014.
Overnight arrivals for the third quarter of 2014 also saw an increase compared to 2013. This year, the slow season recorded an 8.8% increase in overnight arrivals. Most impressive was the number of overnight visitors recorded for September 2014 alone, which when compared to September 2013 registered a 12.1% increase. Overall the first nine months of this year saw an 11% increase in overnight arrivals.
But the most significant increase was noted in cruise ship arrivals, which for the first nine months of the year registered an increase of 45% when compare to the first nine months of 2013. In comparison to last year, cruise ship arrivals saw a 77.9% increase in the third quarter of 2014. Also, each individual month in the slow season saw an increase when compared to the respective month in 2013: July had a 106.8% increase, August had a 40% increase and September had a 90% increase. According to BTB, 2014 has been one of the best years for cruise ship arrivals in Belizean history.
According to BTB Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, the increase in tourist arrivals in the third quarter is good news for Belize, as it boosted the tourism product in the slowest months. “Seeing these impressive tourist arrival figures during the third quarter can only mean that we are putting in the work; the BTB, its sister agencies, and very importantly, our partners and the thousands of Belizeans who work in this industry. We know that visitor experience in Belize is one of the highest in this region, and that can only improve as we continue to elevate the quality of our product offerings and the level of service. It shows that we are moving in the right direction and that the work doesn’t stop here. There is room to grow these numbers across the board, and more so during the low season. This really is great news for Belize and we should all be proud,” said Carnegie.
BTB expects the growth in tourist arrivals to continue in to the last quarter of 2014.
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