Belize Tourism Reports Arrivals Up 8 Percent So Far in 2013
By Brian Major
Overnight tourist arrivals to Belize climbed 8 percent from January to August 2013, totaling approximately 215,000 travelers, according to Belize Tourism Board (BTB) statistics released on Oct. 7.
“With these numbers, we are well on our way to making the 300,000 overnight visitors mark,” said BTB officials. Belize attracted 17,228 more tourists in the first eight months of 2013 versus the same period in 2012. Belize’s overnight arrivals for January, February and March of 2013 were up 17.2 percent, 14.3 percent, and 13.0 percent respectively; July and August were each up 8 percent.
Belize’s cruise ship arrivals are up 5.3 percent compared for the first eight months of 2013, according to BTB. The destination’s cruise arrivals were up 30.2 percent in August, 19.4 percent in January, with “encouraging increases” in February, March, and April. Cruise visitors declined in May, June, and July, BTB reports. Belize’s first-quarter 2013 cruise ship arrivals totaled 264,053 visitors, a 9.8 percent increase over the 238,154 visitors recorded during the same period in 2102.
Belize tourism is showing strong results despite recent setbacks including a September fire that razed the popular Ramon’s Village Resort in the resort town of San Pedro. Belize has also made news in cruise circles as the island is preparing for a $50 million cruise port development near the Placencia peninsula at Harvest Caye.