Tourists are making it a Belizean summer

Tourists are flocking to Belize according to new statistics released by Belize’s Immigration Department. The most recent report for total tourist arrivals (with the exclusion of cruise passengers), which includes arrivals at all border points both via land and by air, shows an increase of 7.8 percent during the months of January through May, 2004 over last year’s arrivals during the same period of time. In total, Belize was hosted 110,103 overnight visitors from January through May, 2004.

According to Belize tourism officials, tourist arrivals at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) during the months of January through May 2004, recorded a 7 percent increase over the same period last year.  This port of entry single-handedly represented 72.1 percent of all overnight visitors.  Additionally, the total number of overnight arrivals documented at the PGIA was recorded at 79,394 for the months of January through May 2004 compared to 74,196 for the same period last year.

The cruise sector continues to show growth as 395,102 passengers visited the Belizean shores during the months of January through May 2004, representing an increase of 71.9  percent over the same time period in 2003.  During these months in 2003, there were 229,826 cruise passengers recorded.

While tourism arrivals for the period of January to May at all border points and the major point of entry; the PGIA have recorded cumulative increases in visitation, the numbers recorded for the month of May 2004 only have shown a meager decrease compared to May 2003.  A decrease of 2.2 percent has been recorded at the PGIA for the month of May 2004 when compared to the same month last year.  Prior to May 2004, tourism arrivals at the PGIA have seen seven months of consecutive record highs.  A notable interest is the decline of European and Caribbean visitors recorded during this period.

“The Belize Tourism Board continues its efforts to promote Belize in the international marketplace as well as building ties with strategic partners,” comments Director of Tourism, Tracy Taegar.  “We are approaching the summer months and entering into the seasonality factor of the tourism industry where activity begins to slow down.  However, our marketing and public relations efforts continue,” Taegar noted.

Before the end of the year, an increase in airlift capacity is expected with the addition of service by Delta Airlines to Belize on December 11th, 2004.

author: eTN staff

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