The tourism industry is also watching with cautious optimism its performance, even with the emergence and spread of two subvariants of COVID-19. As we told you this week, the Ministry of Health and Wellness confirmed that of some forty samples sent for genomic sequencing, all tested positive for either the BA.4 or the BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron strain. Both subvariants are believed to be the fastest spreading to date. One report suggests that 54 percent of all cases of COVID in the U.S. is attributed to BA.5. When asked about how these developments are impacting tourism, Minister Anthony Mahler says Belize is holding on strong.
Anthony Malher, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations: “Tourism in Belize is outpacing the region. The region has rebounded at about 50%. We’re at 70 – 72% in terms of overnight arrivals and we’re moving towards a greater rebound for cruise as well and so both aspects of the industry are performing well, better than had been expected especially during this time. We can’t forget that the first few months of this year, which is the lion’s share of the high season, was impacted by OMICRON and that spread and people didn’t know what to expect with this new, with that wave at the time. The same thing with this new spread that is going on. We have to continue to be vigilant but I think after two years of putting in place the health protocols and the safety measures that we can navigate our way through this. Just from the numbers from the first couple weeks in July, I think we’re holding strong. We’ll wait and see how the next few weeks the numbers that come in, we’ll see where they are but I think we’re holding strong.”
The last report from the Ministry of Health says that there are still more than 700 active cases in Belize at this time.