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Tourism Minister says drop in figures is no cause for alarm

Last week, figures of tourist arrivals were released and the statistics showed that there was a decrease in arrivals. Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia spoke about it saying that it is a normal occurrence.

 Manuel Heredia – Minister of Tourism

That is around the world is something that happens. The year before was an extremely exceptional year that not even the hoteliers or BTB expected to be that much and usually you will find that it won’t be as easy to repeat the same figure but yet when we look at the world tourism organization speaking to them they will tell you that if you can even maintain the figures that were of the previous year you are doing well.”

Within the Caribbean, concerns have been raised about sargassum that has been washing up on the beaches and the effects it has on the tourism industry. Minister Heredia said Belize is not at risk; however it is still a small problem.

Manuel Heredia – Minister of Tourism

It has to be a problem because whenever you cannot keep your beaches 24 hours a day as white as they used to be it is indeed a problem. There are some of the tourists that will come specifically to bathe in the shallow waters right in front of the beach of their resort hence it is a problem but again the industry realizes that we all have to come together and make sure that we can address it as best as possible. Again it is a regional problem if you see on social media Cancun is worse than Belize, four feet deep and I believe almost one hundred feet out. I think it is St. Martins they had to close the beaches because it was unmanageable so Belize as a whole is doing well and the beauty of Belize is that if we can pull together resources and make sure that we can address it as best as possible that is why I believe Belize is a paradise.”