The world recession is affecting people at different levels and in different forms. Is it affecting you in San Pedro? Some people believe that as long as they are making a decent living, it is not affecting them, but think again. Are you better off today into the recession than you were five years ago in 2007? Does the recession only affect the hotel owners and restaurant owners or does it affect everyone that seeks employment in Ambergris Caye? You be the judge; here are the facts.
Will Lala, the San Pedro Warden for the US Embassy has just completed the 2012 survey of location and contact information for the hotels, condos, and guest houses on Ambergris Caye. This information is used for disaster planning and locating tourists in the event of a emergency. But the information that he collected is very interesting. It definitely gives some insight on how the recession is affecting business in Ambergris Caye.
Currently (2012) Ambergris Caye has 1,748 tourist units with an additional 77 to be opened this year in three new hotels. A unit is a guest accommodation that can range from a single room to a 5 bedroom villa.
Between 2005 and 2007 there were approximately 300 new units added to Ambergris Caye. Between 2007 and 2009 there were approximately 400 new units added bringing the 2009 total to 1,957 units. So, there was a huge drop of 209 units between 2005 and 2012. An additional 680 units were under construction in 2009 and his report indicates that many of the units were never completed.
A number of hotels and condos closed and others cut expenses by having owners/managers move into one or more units. A large number of condo units became homes for seasonal and full time guests. All of this has also cut down on the number of available units on the island.
These are the bare facts. Hotel rooms or tourist units seem to have been on a steady decline. This means fewer tourists we can host and fewer employees to host and service them. Did you lose a job because of a hotel closing down or a projected one not completed? Is the recession affecting Ambergris Caye? You be the judge.