Statistics obtained from Belize’s Immigration Department demonstrate that Belize is consistently remaining a preferred holiday destination.ÊThe most recent report for total tourist arrivals (exclusive of cruise passengers), which includes arrivals at all border points both via land, air, and sea, show that between the months of January and August, 2004, there was a recorded increase of 3.7% over the same period in 2003.ÊBelize hosted a total of 167,782 overnight visitors during the months of January through August this year, as opposed to the 161,734 who visited during this period in 2003.
While the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) recorded a 5.8% increase for the period of January through August 2004, there was a slight decrease of 2.8% during the month of August 2004.
The Belize Tourism Board attributes this decline to the resulting effects of hurricanes in Florida, which led to flight cancellations, as well as the Olympics held in Athens Greece.
The cruise sector continues to show growth as more than 267 ships called to Belize’s port during the months of January through August 2004, accounting for 566,074 passengers.Ê This represents a substantial increase of 70.1% over the same period in 2003, when only 332,860 cruise passengers were recorded.
It is noteworthy that the totals for January through August 2004 already represents 98.4% of the entire 2003 cruise passengers total. For the month of August alone, there were 57,018 cruise passengers who visited Belize compared to 38,809 who visited in August 2003.
“The industry is currently in its slow season”, comments Tourism Director, Tracy Taegar - Panton.Ê Both the public and the private sectors are preparing for the upcoming busy season by investing in their individual properties and improving on existing facilities and services,” Taegar - Panton noted.