Statistics obtained from the Belize’s Immigration Department continue to illustrate that visitors are making Belize their preferred holiday destination of choice.Irrespective of the fact that Belize’s tourism industry has entered into the summer months, which has traditionally been an indicator of slow activity, tourist arrivals recorded at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) continue to rise for the second quarter in a row. Arrivals at the Airport from April through June of 2004 have increased by 6.5% over the same period last year. A total of 93,501 visitors traveled to Belize during the first half of 2004 as opposed to 87,789 who visited during this same period in 2003.
The cruise sector continues to show significant growth as more than 220 ships called to Belize’s port from January through June 2004, accounting for 452,262 passengers. This represents an increase of 71.7 % over the same period in 2003 when only 263,989 cruise passengers were recorded. The month of June (2004) alone, recorded an increase of 70% over June 2003, which saw an impressive 57,160 passengers versus 33,623 passengers who arrived in June 2003.
“As we increase our marketing and public relations efforts, we are encouraged by the fact that more visitors are making Belize their preferred destination of choice,” comments Tourism Director, Tracy Taegar.” These increases represent greater economic opportunities for our local entrepreneurs, who we continue to encourage to become active stakeholders in the growing industry,” Taegar noted.