By the Caribbean Journal staff
Belize’s 2018 tourism boom is showing no signs of slowing down.
The destination is the fastest-growing in the Caribbean this year so far, with a total of 372,075 stayover tourist arrivals through the end of September — a 16.6 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
It’s an impressive performance for a destination, buoyed in large part by significant growth in new air routes, from both United States-based carriers like Southwest Airlines and a surge from Canada and airlines like WestJet.
And there is more new airlift on the way, from new routes from Sun Country Airlines and a new route from AeroMexico, among others.
“The most recent tourism statistics not only attest to this fact but they also show a consistent upward growth trend,” the Belize Tourism Board said in a statement. “The years ahead promise to bring exciting developments at a time when our dynamic tourism industry is poised for further growth.”
Belize is also seeing a jump in new hotel development, with new brands like Curio Collection by Hilton, which recently debuted in Belize with the Mahogany Bay property, and Marriott, which is planning both a branded hotel and another hotel that will be part of its Autograph Collection.
That’s along with the highly-anticipated new Four Seasons Belize, which will be set on the private island of Caye Chapel.
The country is also seeing a surge in cruise passenger arrivals, with a 19.9 percent increase compared to the first nine months of 2017 — representing a total of 870,168 total cruise arrivals.