New report finds no evidence that Belize Tourism is losing money, but it does recommend that tourism companies take the necessary steps to maintain their financial health
By David McWilliamsJanuary 17, 2020 7:05pmBelize tourism is experiencing a steady decline, as evidenced by a new report by the International Tourism Bureau (ITB) that found no evidence the country is losing revenue or profit.
The report is the first of its kind and the results come as the country continues to struggle to recover from the devastating flooding that occurred in 2016 and 2017.
“We have a number of things going on that are contributing to the decline of Belize tourism,” ITB Vice President Daniel Dias said in a statement.
“These include: the high cost of living in Belize, a weak economy, an aging population, and a lack of investment and infrastructure.
Belize has one of the highest levels of poverty and unemployment in the Americas.”
The ITB found that Belized tourism has suffered a sharp decline in revenue and profit since the country experienced a two-year run-up in economic activity in the second quarter of 2019, when the economy increased by $8.8 million.
However, it found that the number of visitors to Belize increased by 1.9% between the second and third quarters of 2019.
The increase in visitors to the country also coincides with a strong growth in the number and size of businesses that operate in Belized, and the ITB estimates that Belizes tourism industry could be worth as much as $8 billion by the end of 2020.
In 2017, the ITC found that businesses operating in Belizes had a revenue of $13.6 million, but this year they have a profit of just $3.2 million.
In 2018, they had a profit for the first time in five years, but that was before the devastating flood hit Belize.
The ITC also noted that the amount of capital available for Belize’s tourism industry has been declining since 2019.
According to the ITE, in 2018, there were $1.2 billion in capital available to the tourism sector, and in 2019, that number dropped to $871 million.
The report also found that while Belize continues to have a small amount of infrastructure and infrastructure improvements to make in order to ensure that it remains a successful tourist destination, there is also room for improvement.
While there are some positive developments, the report said that the country’s ability to continue to attract foreign tourists will remain hindered by the lack of adequate infrastructure and improvements to the infrastructure, including airports and roads.
While it said the country still has a lot of work to do to attract the international and domestic tourism markets, the country should not feel too disheartened by the results of the ITBA’s report.
“The ITBA is a great organisation, and I wish that they would keep working on this and continue to look at Belize,” Dias added.