Belize continues to draw more tourists to its shores, with overnight tourist arrivals up 11.8% and cruise tourist arrivals up 36.9% for the first half of 2014, according to data released this evening by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB).
That translates to 141,921 more cruise tourists and 19,693 more overnight tourists compared to the first six months of 2013, or an overall sector growth of 29.3%.
Airport arrivals were also up by 11% for January to June 2014, with 14,011 more tourists arriving at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA).
More than half-million cruise tourists visited Belize during the period, up from 385,116 for the same period in 2013.
The official data indicate that 185,998 overnight tourists traveled to the country, with more than three-quarters of them arriving by air at the PGIA. These were mostly visitors from the U.S.A.
According to the BTB, “The largest market for travelers to Belize continues to be Americans, which has increased by 11.8%; the second largest is the European market, having a 23.2% increase; the third largest is the Canadian market, with a 6.4% increase.”
Although March recorded the highest number of overnight tourist arrivals for the first 6 months of 2014 at 38,712 visitors, April saw peak year-on-year growth in airport and overnight tourist arrivals with an increase of over 20% compared to last year.
Meanwhile, March also saw a peak in cruise tourist arrivals of 115,227 visitors, whereas June experienced the highest year-on-year growth, with the figure doubling from 24,432 to 53,789.