BELIZE CITY, Belize — For 15 consecutive months from June 2015 to September 2016, the tourism industry in Belize has been experiencing record breaking increases in overnight arrivals every month, with impressive double digit increases of as much as 33 percent growth.
Now nine months into 2016, the tourism arrival figures continue to show this upward trend, closing off the third quarter with a 26.9 percent increase for the month of September 2016 over September 2015. Overall, the first nine months of 2016 recorded a total of 293,622 overnight arrivals, a 16.4 percent increase over the same nine months of 2015, which had 252,329 overnight arrivals.
Cruise arrivals resulted in 54,569 passengers for September 2016, representing a 20.6 percent increase over September 2015. Overall, cruise passenger arrivals recorded a moderate 1.3 percent increase for the first nine months of 2016, despite having 12 fewer cruise vessels arriving in Belize, inclusive of cruise calls cancelled due to Hurricane Earl.
The US continues to be the largest source market, with 67.4 percent of the market share, followed by Europe and Canada, respectively.
Further increases are anticipated for the remainder of 2016, especially with the launch by WestJet Airlines on October 29 of direct flights between Toronto and Belize.