Belize welcomes tourism growth
BELIZE tourism continues its winning streak, as statistics obtained from the Belize’s Immigration Department reveal unexpected growth. Statistics show airport arrivals from April through June of 2004 have increased by 6.5 percent over the same period last year. In actual numbers, this percentage increases equals to a total of 93,501 visitors during the first half of 2004 as opposed to 87,789 who visited during this same period in 2003.
“Irrespective of the fact that Belize’s tourism industry has entered into the summer months, which has traditionally been an indicator of slow activity, tourist arrivals recorded at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) continue to rise for the second quarter in a row,” Belize Tourism Board (BTB) stated.
BTB also noted the significant growth in the cruise sector, with a whopping increase of 71.7 percent over the same period in 2003. Last year, some 263,989 cruise passengers were recorded, whereas more than 220 ships called to Belize’s port from January through June 2004, accounting for 452,262 passengers.
“The month of June (2004) alone, recorded an increase of 70 percent over June 2003, which saw an impressive 57,160 passengers versus 33,623 passengers who arrived in June 2003,” BTB added.
The increase in tourism traffic to Belize has been credited to the BTB’s aggressive efforts in executing the destination’s marketing and public relations campaigns. According to BTB, marketing and public relations activities over the past months have included trade show participation in key US cities, educational presentations to travel agents, familiarization trips for key international media and Internet marketing.
“As we increase our marketing and public relations efforts, we are encouraged by the fact that more visitors are making Belize their preferred destination of choice,” Tracy Taegar, director, said. “These increases represent greater economic opportunities for our local entrepreneurs, who we continue to encourage to become active stakeholders in the growing industry.”
Belize City, Belize
author: Nelson Alcantara
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