November 16, 2011 - The Belize Tourism Board is happy to share its 3rd Quarter Tourism Report for the period ending July to September 2011. Belize has had the privilege of welcoming an increasing number of tourists to its shores via the cruise ship port, land border points and the international airport as the statistics obtained from the Immigration Department illustrates below.
Continuing the trends seen in the 2nd quarter report, this year's third quarter figures indicate that exclusive of cruise passengers, the total tourism arrivals from all points of entry for the period, July to September 2011 increased by 3.3%, accounting for 51,600 overnight stays.
This year's third quarter figures have also accounted for a notable increase in tourist arrivals. The total number of arrivals documented at PGIA for July to September 2011 was 34,251 visitors. With September seeing the highest number of tourist arrival through the airport since 2007, there was a 1.0% increase through the third quarter and a 4.6% cumulative increase for the year.
With a total of 107,870 passengers during the months of July to September 2011, the cruise tourism industry is still facing significant challenges as indicated in the arrival trends. Having a 6% decrease in the third quarter, we are anticipating that with the commencement of the high season, temperate increases will resume. Below you will find a dull breakdown of the 3rd quarter statistics.
Total Overnight Tourist Arrivals
As we compare our arrivals for the past 2 quarters, overnight arrival figures continue to show increases through the third quarter of the year. There was a 3.4% increase in July, followed by a slight decrease of 1.1% in August. There has been a decrease in each quarter of the year so far in overall arrival numbers. Fortunately enough, each decrease has been followed by an increase in the next month. In September 2011 there was a 9.6% increase in arrivals, marking a 3.3% increase through the third quarter, and a 3.3% cumulative increase for the year.
Airline Tourist Arrivals
The number of overnight tourist arrivals through the Philip Goldson International airport continues to remain relatively consistent. There was a 1.7% increase in July with a total of 16,935 tourist visitors. This figure marked a record for arrivals in the month of July through the PGIA. There was a 1.4% decrease in August 2011, which was the first decline in arrival figures through the airport for the year. Nonetheless, this decrease was followed by a 3.6% increase in September making this the highest increase for that particular month since the figure of September 2007. All in all, there was a 1.0% increase through the third quarter and a 4.6% cumulative increase for the year as it relates to airline tourist arrivals.
Cruise Tourist Arrivals
The 3rd quarter figures for this year continue to show an overall decrease in cruise arrivals as indicated by the arrival trends. There was a 12.3% decrease in cruise arrivals in July, followed by an 11.3% increase in August 2011. This illustrates great unpredictability in the sector, as it tries to recover from the difficulties faced in the first quarter of 2011. There was yet another decrease of 16.8% in September, marking a 6.0% decrease in cruise arrivals through the third quarter, and a 10.0% cumulative decrease in 2011. These decreases can be attributed due to ship cancellations from the Carnival Cruise Lines earlier this year and the threat of Hurricane Rina turning back some ships in October. Fortunately as the high season resumes in November and December, moderate increases in cruise arrivals are expected for the last quarter of 2011.