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A successful local tourism-Commonwealth day weekend in Belize

Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2020. 10:25 pm CST.

By BBN Staff:  Pictures of Belizeans enjoying quality relaxation time at Belize’s resorts and hotels flooded social media over the long weekend. The images were indicative of a people longing for some leisure time after the long lock-down implemented to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the jewel.

The need for relaxation was made even more compulsive as the 2020 Easter vacations went on record to be the only Easter in most of our lifetime that Belizeans were unable to travel to Cancun, Playa del Carmen and other popular destinations in the Mexican Maya Riviera, or even to San Pedro, Caye Caulker or any of the other local cayes, nor to the mainland escapes of Hopkins, Plancencia or San Ignacio. In fact, not even cross-district travel was allowed to visit families during the Easter vacations.

Many resorts offered special promotions to attract Belizeans to their favorite local getaway destinations. While many ‘local tourist’ visited Caye Caulker and other cayes, others visited southern Belize, mainly Hopkins, Maya Beach and Placencia to enjoy the beaches. Other Belizeans traveled inland to the Cayo District to enjoy the maya mountains and pristine waters, while others headed up north to enjoy the Progresso Lagoon and the resorts along the Corozal Bay.

BBN spoke to a number of hotel owners who confirmed that reservations fluctuated between 20 to 50% over the Commonwealth weekend but a few resorts even reported that they were fully booked out for the weekend. While some owners were hopeful that there will continue to be some bookings from locals touring their country, others believe this weekend was a windfall that cannot be expected to continue despite the on-going promotions.

The tourism industry is undoubtedly the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in Belize, and with all the challenges associated with the opening of the borders and airports, the sector is not expected to recover within the short term.



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