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Tourism contributes to almost 50% of Belize’s GDP

Posted: Friday, December 8, 2023. 10:54 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Ministry of Tourism has launched the National Cruise Tourism Policy 2023-2033.

This National Cruise Tourism Policy reiterates Belize’s overall commitment to sustainable development, through an embrace and stewardship of sustainable tourism.

The policy was developed based on extensive industry consultations of local and international partners, as well as stakeholders from the public, private and civil sectors.

It aligns and complements the strategic vision for tourism development established within the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan 2030, and the National Tourism Policy.

The policy sets out the priorities and a direction for cruise tourism development in Belize for the period 2023-2033.

“Cruise tourism has become an integral subsector within the national tourism industry in Belize, an industry that contributes close to 50 % of Belize’s GDP,” the BTB noted.

Since the early 2000s, Belize has seen a remarkable growth in cruise tourism arrivals of over 260%.

Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Belize was on a positive growth trend with projections indicating that the country would have achieved its 20-year goal, 8-10 years early.

However, with the socio-economic shock brought on by the Pandemic, it is critical now more than ever to assess, align and strategize an updated and renewed path of growth and development for this critical sub-sector.

The objective of the policy include the optimization of the number of cruise ship calls and passenger arrivals in a sustainable manner, countrywide, and establish a strategic path towards 2.5 million cruise passenger arrivals annually.

The policy also aims to expand the absorptive capacity of the country by developing new attractions, and properly manage the stress factors of already established sites.


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