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Tourism Statistics: July thru August
--Belize City, Tuesday, October 21 st , 2008 - Monthly tourism data retrieved from the Immigration Department indicate that the total tourism arrivals (exclusive of cruise passengers), from all points of entry for the period, January – August decreased by 0.6%, accounting for 184,132 overnight visitors.
The North American Market accounted for approximately 67% of the total tourism arrivals in Belize in 2007. According to the Travel Industry Association (TIA), while one in seven (14 percent) American leisure travelers say they had taken a “staycation” or home based vacation during the past six months, only one in 11 (9 percent) expects to do so during the next six months according to the July TIA survey. When asked about the reason(s) for their “staycation”, respondents stated “gasoline prices are too high (61 percent), “travel in general is too expensive” (44 percent) and “I am cutting back on discretionary spending” (43 percent).
The Phillip Goldson International Airport represents 69% of the total arrivals. The total number of arrivals documented at PGIA for January through August was 137,117 visitors. During this same period last year the total arrivals was 137,533 visitors which represents a 0.3% decrease this year.
The cruise sector welcomed 198 ships to port, accounting for a total of 432,646 passengers from January – September 2008. This represents a 6.1% decrease, compared to this same period for last year. However, over the next three months, it is expected that the number of cruise passengers to call on Belize will surpass arrival figures for the same period last year.
“Despite the numbers dipping for this period, Belize has done well considering the impending recession in the US economy,” comments Tourism Director, Tracy Panton. “As we enter into our peak tourism season for this year, the Belize Tourism Board maintains its efforts to support its tourism stakeholders in the international market and are utilizing efforts in the Central American, Canadian and European markets as a means of growing the tourism market for Belize.”
It is noteworthy to mention that while arrivals from the United States were down 1.8% during the period January – August, 2008, Canadian visitors were up 11.6%. Additionally, European arrivals, an increasingly growing market was up 3.1%, including the British who were up 6.5%.
For more information on the developments and events Belize's Tourism Industry, please contact the Marketing Department at the Belize Tourism Board at (501)-223-1913, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.travelbelize.org .