This year’s tourism season is coming to an end, according to the Minister of Tourism, Anthony Mahler. He says that the months of September and October are relativity slow when it comes to tourist arrivals into the country; however, the September celebrations attract Belizeans from the diaspora to return home. Today, the Minister explained that overall the tourism industry is slowly rebounding but is not yet at pre-pandemic levels.
Anthony Malher, Minister of Tourism: “We’re seeing that trend towards 2019 numbers. Actually, July was an impressive month. August was a little bit slower but still strong enough. We’ve had significant discussions with the airlines and they have so many crucial issues internally that the capacity into destinations have been stunted. So for example, one airline told us over the last week that pilots don’t want to fly on weekends anymore because during COVID they got close to their families and so it’s difficult to find pilots. They’re going through a robust training program for pilots but on a weekend, on a daily basis, they would have 60, 70 planes grounded because there are no pilots. So there are a lot of operational issues for the airlines but we are working at a frenetic pace to ensure that we continue to build capacity as long as we build capacity into the country. Whether by land, sea, or air, we will see uptake in tourism but our goal is to ensure that we grow in a sustainable manner and we protect the natural and human resources that we have in this country for many years to come.”