By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
After months of showing overnight tourist arrival decreases, the industry is finally beginning, according to the Belize Tourism board.
The Belize Tourism Board released the latest tourism arrival statistics on Friday. The data underscored that tourist arrivals for January to July have begun to show improvements, with overnight arrivals showing a 1.6 percent increase in June, and three percent increase in July.
Cruise passenger arrivals have shown an overall increase of 0.2 percent.
The BTB attributed 0.8 percent drop in cumulative arrivals through the first seven months of 2015, partially to consistent decreases in the number of overnight visitors from Canada.
Statistical indicators have pointed to Canada’s economy going through a downturn, according to the BTB noted.
Alternately, the data showed that the Cruise tourism arrivals saw significant increases. The increases were seen in January and March, with a 16.6 percent and 15.8 percent increase, respectively.
In February, cruise passenger numbers decreased by 2.7 percent because two cruise ship calls were cancelled due to weather conditions.
“It is important to note that 2014 was an outlier year in regards to summer months in the cruise industry, as deployments from other regions were redirected to Belize increasing the booking calls”, the BTB also mentioned.
Bookings for 2015 have since normalized and are still showing a cumulative increase of 0.2 percent, with projections of seeing a further increase. BTB emphasized that it is currently diversifying its marketing, working on marketing initiatives into South America and Europe.