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New Cruise Tourism Policy aims for 2.5 million visitors in 10 years

Posted: Friday, December 8, 2023. 10:21 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On December 7, 2023, the Ministry of Tourism launched the National Cruise Tourism Policy.

The policy is a 10-year road map for the development of the cruise ship industry in Belize and was developed based on extensive consultations among local and international partners from the public and private sector.

The 10-year-road map targets to grow the sector to an average of 2.5 million visitors per annum.

Director of Cruise, Lloyd Enriquez noted that the policy is a revised version of the first version of the National Cruise Tourism Policy that was launched in the early 2000s.

“So this is a revision, an update to that policy and it basically presents a ten-year roadmap to developing cruise tourism in Belize.  It’s really a path to how we can sustainably grow cruise tourism over the next ten years and hopefully arrive at a sustainable number of about two point five million passengers per annum, and that is nationwide,” Enriquez said.

Enriquez noted that in 2019, the sector peaked with 1.2 million passengers.

“This year, January to December 2023, we’ll be about 900,000 passengers.  So, we’re inching back to where we were pre-COVID but not there yet,” Enriquez stated.

The Cruise Director says that consultations with stakeholders and industry partners were conducted to determine what works best.

The National Cruise Tourism Policy aligns and complements the strategic vision for Belize’s tourism development established within the National Sustainable Master Plan 2030 and the National Tourism Policy.


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