Belize Tourism Trending According to Latest Figures
New data published by the Belize Tourism Board show that the country is becoming more popular than ever for foreign visitors. Tourist visits in January 2016 were up 24% year-over-year while February saw an 18.4% increase over the year before. The first two months of 2016 set a new record with more than 75,000 tourist visits, the highest number ever reported for that period.
March 2016 continued these impressive gains with more than 43,000 visitors in that month alone, a more than 10% increase year-over-year and a new record for the month. The 43,065 visitors in March is the highest number of air travelers to visit the country in a single month.
All together, the first three months show that overnight visitors to the country rose nearly 17% compared to the year before. Beginning in June 2015, Belize has seen more tourists arrive every month than for the same period the year prior.
Despite the rise of Belize as a trending tourism destinations, the number of passengers of cruise ships calling on the country were lower by 19.5% in January due to 13 fewer ships arriving than in January 2015. February 2016 reversed this trend with 98,623 cruise ship passengers debarking in Belize, a 3.7% increase from the same month the year before. March continued this trend with an additional three cruise ship visits and 138,930 passengers debarking throughout that month, a 4.1% increase from the same month in 2015.
Overall, the first quarter of 2016 showed a net loss of 4.5% in the number of cruise ship passengers who debarked in the country but the Belize Tourism Board predicts solid growth thanks to an increased number of cruise ships booked to visit the country. The cruise industry estimates that approximately 1 million passengers will visit Belize in 2016.