Record-Breaking Tourism Numbers Prompt Upgrades at PGIA

Record-Breaking Tourism Numbers Prompt Upgrades at PGIA

Tourism in Belize closed out the month of March with a record-breaking number of visitors. Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations Anthony Mahler said that the increased inflow of visitors surpasses 2019, which is the benchmark year for the industry. However, increased visitors to the country means an increased demand for the facilities at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). To address that need Minister Mahler said that there is an ongoing, long-term project for the upgrade of the PGIA. He stressed that despite continual improvements, long lines at the airport are a common occurrence all over the world. Mahler said that marketing efforts are being ramped up in Mexico and South America, but the airport upgrades are important since the United States remains Belize’s number one tourist market.

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations: “The upgrading of the airport has started and that is a long term program, ten fifteen years. But if you travel to any airport at peak time you will have congestion so I’ve stood in line in some airports for an hour, two hours and so that comes with the period or the time that you’re traveling. For us weekends, Friday, Saturday and Sunday but specifically on a Saturday. All over the world coming to Belize so what we’re working on tirelessly is to get that first flight to Belize out of Europe and then we’re having discussions maybe for a charter out of Taiwan and other areas just to think outside of the box. Our key source markets come from the United States, Canada and we think Mexico and Latin America both areas have great opportunity for us. We haven’t focused significantly for decades but I think with 120 million people next to us in Mexico the easing of the border crossing now and the fees and all of that will hopefully improve that and we’ll continue to put marketing dollars in those areas but our prime markets are the United States, Canada and those are the biggest ones especially in the United States.”

Data from the Belize Tourism Board shows that there were 511 international flights in March and more than sixty-nine thousand visitors.

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