The Belize Tourism Board had recently released its 2019 tourism statistics for the first half of 2019. These figures are not only impressive, but they continue to show Belize's desirability as the sustainable Caribbean and Latin American destination that’s attracting a growing number of travelers from all over the world.
Why Tourists are Choosing Belize
Belize is appealing to vacationers for many reasons. Its official language is English, it borders Mexico, and is only a 2-hour flight from major U.S. cities. It also helps that US Dollars are accepted everywhere.
Belize is one of the few safe, tropical destinations that has preserved its gorgeous environment, unique wildlife, and exotic culture. It’s no secret that visitors are drawn to the country for its 185-mile long barrier reef, tropical rainforests, mystical ceremonial caves, beautiful beaches, and ancient Mayan archeological sites.
The destination appeals to nature lovers, adventure seekers, divers, beach bums, history buffs, and more, and its growing tourism numbers are evident that it’s continuing to attract all types of vacationers.
Belize Tourism Figures for January – June 2019
Before we jump into the 2019 statistics, it's important to note that Belize is one of the Caribbean's fastest-growing destinations over the past decade. In fact, land-based visitor arrivals had more than doubled from 232,249 in 2009 to 489,261 in 2018.
This growth trend continues in 2019 with a 6% increase in overnight visitor arrivals for the first half of 2019 over the first half of 2018. In total, Belize welcomed 284,576 tourists from January to June.
Compared to other Caribbean destinations, Belize had more overnight visitors than the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, Saint Maartin, and Trinidad & Tobago during the same period.
Belize also welcomed 697,767 cruise ship passengers, which represents a 10.8 % increase in cruise ship visits compared to the first half of 2018. In contrast, Belize had more cruise ship visitors than Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Haiti, and Saint Lucia.
The majority of those vacationing in Belize are coming from the United States (66.65%). There are also many travelers flying in from Europe (11.8%) and Canada (7.6%).
Belize is also seeing an increase in younger visitors between the ages of 25-34, thanks to low-cost air carriers becoming more accessible from the U.S., Canada, and European markets. This points to Belize's appeal and marketability to younger, adventure-seeking travelers who place a high value on sustainable tourism.
Increased Tourism Directly Related to Belize’s Real Estate Boom
As Belize continues to rise in the ranks as a top travel destination, many travelers are choosing to buy real estate in Belize, as well.
Orchid Bay, a luxurious development located in Northern Belize on the Bay of Chetumal, as well as other areas, such as San Pedro and Placencia, are experiencing a surge in real estate sales. This shows that Belize’s appeal to visitors is spilling over to investors, retirees, and vacation homeowners, who want to buy in early and own real estate in this fast-growing tourist destination.
Orchid Bay had a significant increase in home sales in 2019, with a total of 18 homes going under contract between January and July. This sales boom is thanks to Belize's rise in tourism and the many benefits that the country offers homebuyers. These real estate incentives include low property taxes, no estate or capital gains taxes, 100% foreign ownership, and the country’s Qualified Retirement Program.
Click here to review the full January – June 2019 Belize Tourism Statistics.