The Belize Tourism Board made its official announcement of 2011 Tourism Arrivals at The Phoenix Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye on Wednesday, February 15, 2012.
Opening remarks was delivered by Interim Director of The Belize Tourism Board, Mr. Javier Paredez after which Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., delivered the 2011 tourism arrivals report.
"I am happy to announce that for the first time in the history of Belize, we have attained record over-night arrivals in 3 of the 12 months of last year, namely, January, July and December of 2011,” stated Hon. Heredia. “As a result of these top-performing months, I am proud to say that 2011 will be recorded as only the second time in Belize's history that we have exceeded the 250,000 overnight arrivals."
These figures were not the only good news to boast about as Hon. Heredia stated that the forecast for the coming year is even better as a major airline from Canada has announced that it intendeds to start direct flights between the country in early 2013.
"Sun Wing Airlines of Canada will commence weekly non-stop dedicated services to Belize early next year,” stated Hon. Heredia. “This represents 744 seats per month directly from Canada, and important step in strengthen the Canadian market, which is our second strongest market, and will only keep growing with strategic alliances. This builds up an additional 39,000 seats from North America for 2012, and represents a growth of confidence in the Belize product by our airline partners."
After the sharing of this good news Director of Marketing, Ms. Yanick Dalhouse announced some of BTB’s marketing accomplishments and also introduced everyone to the newly revamped website, travelbelize.org.
Yanick commented that Belize made a huge international splash when the Today Show broadcasted live for 2-days from Belize for its feature, "Today goes to The Ends of the Earth" special. This morning show was seen by millions people across North America. She continued by stating that all of BTB’s PR efforts that year resulted in nearly 300 stories which reached over 500 million people.
Since 2008 Belize has been gaining more recognition and San Pedro has been named as Top Destinations in 2011 among other high recognitions. Belize has garnered more fame this past year with the filming of A&Es Gene Simmons Family Values and most recently ABCs The Bachelor.
Director of Quality Assurance, Mrs Laura Esquivel Frampton, stated in her presentation that the Belize Tourism Board is working on improving the industry on a whole by training and capacity building. They have revamped the Tour Guide Course, have made a new Tour Operator Course and will work on Quality Enhancement training on customer service, wait staff, front desk and more.
The Belize Tourism Board was extremely proud to make these official announcements at the recently named World’s Best Hotel by Trip Advisor – The Phoenix Resort. Below are the full statistics on the 2011 Tourism Arrivals.
BTB Unveils its 4th Quarter Report:
Overnight and cruise arrival figures make history!
The overnight arrival figure for the 4th quarter of 2011 was the highest for that time period on record. There were 57,964 visitors in the 4th quarter, representing a 6.5% increase on the 4th quarter of 2010, and signaling a resurgence of tourism inflows in Belize.
With a total of 12, 093 visitors, October saw a 1.4% increase over last year. This was followed by an 8.3 % increase in November (at 19,908). December 2011’s arrival figure of 26,945 was a record high for a December month, and marked a 7.6% increase compared to December 2010. 2011 was a year of record breakers with record highs for January, July and December. The total overnight arrival figure for 2011 of 250, 263 is the second highest on record after the peak in 2007, which was just before the global economic crisis period. It is only the second time in Belize’s history that the overnight tourism arrival figure has exceeded 250,000 visitors. It marked a 3.4% increase in overnight arrivals in 2011 compared to 2010.
Airline Tourist Arrivals
The arrivals through the Philip Goldson International airport showed a record high for the 4th quarter of 2011 with 42,034 visitors. This marked a 9% increase compared to the 4th quarter of 2010.
There was a slight decrease in October 2011 of 1.2%, followed by increase of 9.6% in November (at 13,387 visitors) and 13.1% in December (at 20,648 visitors). Both of these increases were record highs for those respective months.
For arrivals through the international airport in 2011, there were record highs in January, July, November and December. The total arrival figure for the airport in 2011 was 181,996 which was the second highest total for the PGIA since the peak in 2007. This figure also marked a 5.6% increase in arrivals compared to 2010.
Cruise Tourist Arrivals
There was no discernible trend in the cruise arrival figures in 2011. There was inconsistency throughout the year, and the 4th quarter was no different. In October there was 25.9% increase over the previous year (at 39,959 visitors), followed by a record high November figure of 92,416 which was a 32.1% increase on the 2010 figure. However there was a slight decline in December 2011 of 11.5% and the total 2011 cruise arrival was 4.8% less than the figure of 2010. The overall statistics show, however that the 2011 cruise arrival of 727,544 was the second highest on record after the figure of 2010. We can also speculate that if the cruise industry was not hampered by the cruise tender issue in the early part of the year, the 2011 cruise arrival figures have exceeded the 2010 figures.