Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2022. 5:31 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Fourth quarter tourist arrivals saw a healthy rebound, contributing to the revival of the services sector and overall national economic growth according to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).
Hotels and restaurants as part of the tertiary services industries grew a mammoth 331.9 percent in 2021’s fourth quarter compared to 2020, which was the first year of the pandemic when no cruise ships were operating and the international airport had only just re-opened.
From none in the fourth quarter of 2020, there were 161,700 cruise ship passengers visiting Belize in 2021, and overnight tourism arrivals rose to 70,700 from 17,200, according to Belize Tourism Board (BTB) statistics provided to the SIB.
The SIB statisticians noted that the top three countries with visitors to Belize are the United States, Guatemala and Canada, in that order.
The 2019 figures are respectively 282 thousand cruise ship passengers and 120 thousand overnight visitors, with the 2021 figures representing healthy chunks of those near all-time figures.
The SIB said it expects further growth with the re-opening of the land borders and greater airline flight volume.
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