Belize has seen a 24.3% increase in overnight European tourism arrivals between January – June 2018 compared to 2017, with the UK market increasing by 20.6% over the same period. This establishes a positive trend for the first half of 2018 and showcases a steady growth for tourism numbers.
Overnight arrivals from Europe increased by 35.2% in the month of January 2018 compared to January 2017, demonstrating that the highest growth for the country is during peak season. However, overnight European visitor numbers in the month of March exceeded January figures, indicating that Belize is less affected by seasonality and arrival numbers are becoming more consistent throughout the year.
The increase in visitor numbers to Belize reflects the results of this year’s ABTA Travel Trends Report, which suggests that visitors are looking to travel to alternative destinations. The report indicates that in 2018, over a quarter of holidaymakers (27%) plan to visit a country they’ve never been to before.
In addition, a number of luxury resorts are being developed and opening up across the country including a Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts on Caye Chapel and Itz’ana Resorts & Residences in Placencia. This demonstrates that Belize is a growing, viable and attractive tourist destination for European travelers, positioning itself as a must-see Central American destination.
Commenting on the figures Karen Pike, director of marketing and industry relations from Belize Tourism Board said “We are delighted to be welcoming so many visitors from UK and Europe. Our strategic aim for the past couple of years has been to appeal to these markets and when we launched marketing initiatives in 2016 we believed that we truly had something to offer that would appeal to our European friends. These figures show not only was that belief warranted, but also that there is a great appetite for the type of incredible experiences people can have in Belize be it culinary, diving, culture, adventure or just sitting back and watching the world go by. Our trade partners have been so supportive and we thank them for their efforts. We have so much to offer and look forward to welcoming more and more people to Belize.”