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August 25, 2021

Tourism is back! But is Belize?

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Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2021. 12:51 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Tourism and associated services have rallied by near 20 percent, with greater wholesale and retail trade, transportation and communication and particularly hotels and restaurants.

As expected, the 10 percent salary cut led to a reduction in production of Government services.

About 61 thousand tourists visited Belize in the second quarter, compared to a trickle of 1,400 in the same time period last year, mostly overnight arrivals.

Overall Belize is six percent positive for gross domestic product (GDP) through the first half of 2021.

But an important caveat is that because of the pandemic factor, the numbers ought to be compared closer to the pre-pandemic conditions, and they are still somewhat short of those projections: the 2019 figure for the second quarter was $763 million, revealing a shortfall of $52 million.

The SIB projects that assuming no further lockdowns or issues with COVID-19 we could be back to previous conditions by next year, but warned that the proper authorities to forecast growth is the Central Bank.

Acting Director General Diana Castillo Trejo made note that the 2020 second quarter is the worst on record and this rebound should be treated carefully and added to our continuing issues with the pandemic and its fallout.

 

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