Tourism in Belize: A Growing Industry
Why Belize represents such an incredible opportunity for tourism investment
Tourism is big business in Belize, and one that represents a growing opportunity for investors. Better yet, the Government of Belize continues to pledge its “commitment to entrench tourism as a top national priority.”
The Belize Trade & Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) proudly reported a 400% growth in Belize’s tourism industry in the past decade alone. Opportunities for tourism investment, it says, show “great potential.”
A few Belize tourism stats
- Between 2011 and 2013, first quarter overnight arrivals in Belize rose 25%.
- The first quarter of 2013 saw a record number of air arrivals in Belize and a 21% increase over 2011.
- Overnight arrivals from January to August 2013 increased 8.7% from 2012.
- In 2014, Belize received 266,107 overnight visitors and 752,598 cruise visitors
- Those visitors spent an average of $213 US per day in Belize and generated about 6 million overnight stays at accommodations providers
Of course, as the only English-speaking country in Central America, and one that offers several attractive tax incentives, Belize also continues to be a popular retirement destination for North American and English ex-pats.
Encouraging trends for tourism investment
For those considering investing in Belize, several trends within the global tourism industry are also encouraging. TripAdvisor’s 2012 Travel Trends Forecast, based on feedback from more than 2,700 respondents, yielded several promising statistics:
- The top two types of travel planned for 2012 were beach (44%) and cultural (42%). With phenomenal Caribbean beaches and a fascinating Mayan heritage, Belize is well positioned to capitalize on both of these trends.
- 68% of Americans indicated they would travel internationally in 2012, with 52% of those saying they’ll travel within North and Central America. As the US economy improves, there’s no reason to suggest this trend won’t continue beyond 2012.
- 12% of respondents said they select their accommodations based on how “eco-friendly” it is. The innovative developments approved for Casa Bay’s Consejo and Ambergris Caye properties will be leaders in this regard.
Other trends indicate tourists are increasingly seeking more adventurous and “authentic” trips. With the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, the world’s only jaguar reserve, the region’s most extensive cave network and a rich Mayan heritage just waiting to be discovered, Belize’s tourism industry is poised for sustained growth.