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“Tourism industry up to 95 percent recovered,” says BTB Director of Tourism

Posted: Thursday, December 29, 2022. 10:22 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Belize’s tourism industry is almost fully rebounded from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Director of Tourism for the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), Evan Tillett.

Tillett told Breaking Belize News (BBN) today that the benchmark year for tourism was 2019 when the country reached a record 1.17 million visitors that year. However, the pandemic hit and brought global travel to a standstill in 2020, accounting for millions of dollars in losses across the entire industry and rendering thousands of Belizeans jobless.

Tillett said that the BTB has been working tirelessly in collaboration with the private sector since then to support the recovery of the industry and that this year the results of their hard work were most visible, as several properties said that they would either match or exceed their 2019 performance.

“From our perspective, we see that we should be somewhere between 90-95 percent of where we were in 2019,” Tillett said.” The critical thing is that we had a plan. That plan involved redirecting and restrategizing our marketing efforts. The other thing was to assess the hotels, the tour operators, and the tour guides, so we could have those people who are core to the industry up and running so we would be ready when the airport reopened, and ready when the borders reopened.”

Tillet went on to say that, with the recovery effort successful, the BTB is now focusing on growing the industry with a view to exceed the overall 2019 performance. He pledged that the BTB will be working closely with its partners to identify what resources the industry need to bring about this growth, and that the BTB will give its support where possible.

The official 2019 report on the tourism industry’s performance is expected to be published in late January 2023.


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