Belize continued to develop positively as a tourism destination in 2015. The country benefited from increased air traffic and overall investment in travel and tourism. The proximity to its core target markets and the fact that English is the official language supported performance. New lodging projects are being developed as a result of the positive outcome in terms of arrivals and tourism revenues. Growth in inbound arrivals was lower in 2015 than in recent years of the review period, although still positive.
Online sales in travel remained underdeveloped in Belize in 2015, with significant opportunities for future development in this regard. Some categories are less developed, such as online sales of attractions, while others are witnessing higher online sales due to global trends, such as lodging. In most cases online sales are growing faster than offline.
Air traffic continues to grow in Belize. In 2015 there were new flight introductions by Copa Airlines and Southwest. The new Copa flight is direct from Panama. Although this is not one of the key source markets, it is an international hub, opening opportunities for further traffic from other areas of the world. The new Southwest flight offers US tourists a low cost option, which is set to continue to increase arrivals from Belize’s key source market.
Leonardo DiCaprio, famous for his environmental activism, recently purchased Blackadore Caye. The actor then partnered with a New York developer to build what they call an “eco-conscious/restorative resort”. Plans for the island include restoring lost natural resources and building a luxury complex which will include guest villas and private homes, to be finished by 2018. This is important for Belize as a tourism destination as it sets high standards for eco-luxury-tourism to be developed in the country and attract high-profile visitors.
Given the current development and investment in tourism in Belize, it is safe to say that performance over the forecast period is expected to be positive. The country is set to benefit from an active tourism board, from geographical proximity to its core markets, and because it is a diverse destination of native English speakers, further boosting its possibilities of success over the forecast period. Current investments are set to yield positive results over the forecast period as they widen the possibilities in terms of transportation, lodging and attractions.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Travel industry in Belize with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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