Belize has been one of the only countries within the Caribbean to experience substantial increases with respect to overall tourist arrivals since 1998. The year 2004 has proven similarly successful for arrivals predominantly through the two key ports of entry - the Philip Goldson International Airport and Fort Street Tourism Village.
Arrivals to the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) represent approximately 70ÊÊ percent of total overnight arrivals in Belize. In the past year, there were 9 record-breaking months of tourist arrivals via PGIA.
Arrivals for the four quarters of 2004 recorded increases of 10.7 percent, 1.7 percent, 5.4 percent, and 10.1 percent, respectively, over the corresponding quarters of 2003. Total arrivals at the PGIA during the months of January through December 2004 demonstrate a record 7.0 percent increase over last year’s arrivals.
Total arrivals from all other border points, including PGIA, Santa Elena Border Station, Belize Western Border Station, Dangriga Town Seaport, Punta Gorda Seaport, during the entire year indicate an overall increase of 4.7 percent over that of the previous year.
In addition, cruise statistics for 2004 have reached a significant milestone. The month of December recorded an unprecedented high of 103,690 passengers, representing an increase of 11.3Êpercent over that in December 2003.
The year’s total for 2004 illustrates a solid upsurge of approximately 48 percent over that of 2003, as Belize welcomed a total of 851,436 visitors to her shores at year’s end January to December 2004. This represents a total of 406 cruise ship calls to Belize in 2004.
Ê“The fascination of Belize as a vacation destination continues to increase, and Belize is quickly becoming the favored destination,” comments Tourism Director, Tracy Panton.Ê “Marketing and Public Relations efforts continue by both the private and public sectors to add greater visibility to Belize. These increases also symbolize greater economic opportunities for local entrepreneurs, who are encouraged to become stakeholders and owners in this budding industry.”