International Tourism Shows Steady Growth
International tourism in Belize continues to rebound after the COVID-19 pandemic shook the industry between 2020 and 2021. With the easing of travel restrictions, tourists continue flocking to Belize to explore the landscapes, culture, and pristine beaches. The Belize Tourism Board reports that there has been a surge in bookings for accommodations and airlines flights to Belize and new routes have even been established – all signals that tourism activity is reaching or may soon surpass levels seen in 2019. President of the Placencia Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, Stewart Krohn says that hotels are offering attractive packages to entice travelers to continue coming to Belize, which has provided much-needed relief to the country’s economy.
Stewart Krohn, President, BTIA Placencia: “The statistics don’t lie. There’s two really different key statistics one is the number of visitor arrivals that arrived through PGIA and the two major border points the other figure is the amount of revenue that comes into tourism and that is more measurable by the tax revenues that are generated through hotel tax that go to the largely to the BTB so those are the two statistical indicators. In terms of arrivals we’re not quite back to 2019 levels yet, we’re getting closer maybe we’re 85-90% there on arrivals. In terms of revenue I believe we have surpassed 2019 levels particularly the last couple months that is caused by the hotel rates have gone up so what we call the average daily rate has risen substantially hence the amount of tax charged on the hotel price has gone up. Secondly the number of new hotels that have been built tend to be the higher priced hotels so that in turn brings up the tax revenue so in terms of the impact on the economy if you take the taxes generated as a lead indicator I can say without qualification that the economic impact of tourism has rebounded in excess of 2019. I think we’re in good shape. I will not venture a guess as to whether this is a permanent feature or simply a measure of what we call revenge travel or rebound travel that remains to be seen but it’s important that we adjust our marketing to what the market is demanding and that is the challenge for BTB and the challenge for the private sector.”