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Number of Mexican visitors to Belize grows over past two years

The Mexican press is reporting that Belize has opened its border to Mexicans wishing to tour the Jewel. According to several reports, Belize’s Immigration Department has facilitated Mexican tourists with a border crossing card that allows them to enter Belize without having to present their passports, similar to the system of border crossing cards issued by Mexico to Belizeans. According to the reports, Mexicans can enter and travel anywhere in Belize with this card. That information, according to the reports, was provided by Mexican Ambassador to Belize Carlos Quesnel Melendez. We made some checks and were reliably informed that border crossing cards are not necessarily anything new as they have been made available to Mexican nationals for about three years now. In May of 2017, however, the Immigration Department gave it a new design and lifted some restrictions, allowing Mexicans to enter and travel anywhere in Belize for a maximum of 72 hours. If their stay should be any longer than 72 hours, Mexicans are required to present their passports at the border. Initially, the cards were issued in Belmopan but they are now being issued in Corozal Town and can be obtained for one to three years. The cards are being made available to Mexican nationals in efforts of boosting tourism in Belize, especially during the summer vacations. And these numbers are growing, according to Mexican Ambassador Quesnel Melendez. In the reports, which we verified,  Ambassador Quesnel Melendez states that recent figures show the number of Mexican visitors to Belize has increased to about nine thousand annually over the last two years. That is an increase from six thousand before 2016. These are Mexican nationals who cross the border into Belize and travel further than the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. According to officials at the Mexican Embassy, there are no official records to show how many Mexicans enter the Corozal Free Zone. Still, though the numbers are growing, the number of Belizeans crossing into Mexico, particularly within the Quintana Roo State, is significantly larger. The recent figures, provided again by Ambassador Quesnel Melendez, is at an average of five hundred thousand Belizeans are crossing the border annually.