In 2022, Belize saw tourism rebound and far exceed the COVID years of 2020 & 2021. In 2022, Belize saw nearly 400,000 tourists. So far, in 2023, Belize has seen nearly double the amount of Q1 tourists from the year prior (2022). In January & February 2022, Belize saw roughly 55,000 tourists (the first 2 months of the year). In 2023, over the same period of time (January & February), Belize has seen over 90,000 tourists (according to BTB). After a strong first quarter to 2023 tourism, Belize is on pace for the highest and best year-to-date four tourism and international arrivals.
The growth in tourism is seen in the increased volume of flights and the latest 2023 tourism numbers from the BTB (Belize Tourism Board). In the first few months of 2023, we have seen a 63% increase in tourism from last year! This puts us on track for one of our best years for Belize tourism. The more flights added, the more people visit Belize.
The 2022 year-end tourism statistics for both overnight and cruise ship tourist arrivals show that the tourism industry in Belize has recovered and is now poised to achieve higher records in 2023. In 2022, Belize saw 370,524 overnight tourist arrivals representing a 69.2% growth over 2021. The year 2022, also registered 615,021 cruise tourism arrivals. Below you can see the tourism numbers for 2022;
Overnight Air Travel Tourists 2022
In 2022, Belize had a total of 372,614 overnight tourists (arriving by air). That is 74.1% of the overnight tourism in 2019 which was the highest tourism year to date (503,166 overnight tourists in 2019). It is also 81% of the pre-COVID inbound tourism numbers (average of 2018 & 2019). This shows a strong 2022 tourism recovery for Belize.
Cruise Ship Tourists 2022
In 2022, Belize had a total of 615,021 tourists arrive and visit Belize via a cruise ship.
Q1 of 2023 (January to March) has been even better than the year prior. With the highest Q1 inbound overnight tourism numbers to date. In Q1, 2023 Belize saw 143,319 overnight tourists. This is a 46.5% increase from Q1 2022.
Overnight Air Travel Tourists 2023
Cruise Ship Tourists 2023
The cruise ship numbers have also seen a drastic improvement in 2023 over 2022. With 318,889 cruise ship tourists arriving in Belize in Q1 of 2023. This is 60% higher than Q1 2022, which saw 199,244 cruise ship tourists in Q1.
Many major airlines offer direct flights to Belize City from several cities in the United States, Canada, and Central America. The Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City is the main airport in Belize, with several airlines offering daily flights.
It is estimated that around 81% of all international tourists travel come through the Belize International Airport. In 2023 it is even easier to travel to Belize with more international direct flights flying to Belize and the Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) than ever before.
The only international airport in Belize is in Belize City, which is BZE (Philip Goldson International Airport). The airport handles all the international air travel to and from Belize.
Below you can see all of the direct flights to Belize as of the start of 2023 and the corresponding airline;
Why are Tourism & Inbound Flights Important?
One of the best indicators for what will happen to tourism in a specific market is airline stats. The primary reason is that airlines provide some of the most accurate data for how many new visitors will be coming into a market. Airlines also plan their new or additional routes around patterns and searches, this indicates more people are inquiring about Belize.
Increase in Flights = Increase in Incoming Passangers = Increase in Demand for Rentals
Increase in Flights = Increase in Tourism = Appreciation of Real Estate Values
There is a direct correlation between real estate appreciation and tourism growth within tourism markets. The greater the demand, with a limited supply, equates to an increase in value. This, in turn, leads to higher Belize real estate value!
Direct Flights & Belize Economy
The Caribbean region (including Ambergris Caye, Belize) is heavily reliant on tourism for its economic health and the growth of the country. In many Caribbean markets such as Cuba, Guyana, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic, more than 90 percent of tourists arrive by air. Luckily, Belize has both the mainland and the islands, with roughly 81% of our 2022 inbound tourism arriving by air travel.
Ambergris Caye & San Pedro Town represent the top tourism destination in Belize. With the overall tourism numbers increasing, more-and-more people are making their way to Ambergris Caye.
It is truly amazing seeing all the growth and development around San Pedro Town and the island of Ambergris Caye. The announcement of the new hospital, the improvements to the bridge connecting the southern and northern parts of Ambergris Caye, and the increase in direct international flights, are just some of the many exciting new updates.
All of the development and announcements are largely due to the growth and popularity of Belize and the TOP destination of Ambergris Caye (San Pedro Town).
Check out the latest video to discover the Biggest Changes and latest developments around San Pedro!