Record-Breaking Tourism in 2024 Prompt Airport Upgrades

 

After seeing Record-Breaking Tourism in Q1 of 2024, the volume of inbound overnight tourism has led to proposed airport upgrades.

Data from the Belize Tourism Board shows that there were 511 international flights in March 2024 and more than sixty-nine thousand visitors.

The month of March 2024 was record-breaking for Belize tourism. Increased visitors to Belize means an increased demand for the facilities at the BZE Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). To address that need there is an ongoing, long-term project for the upgrade of the PGIA.

Tourism in Belize closed out the month of March with a record-breaking number of visitors. The increased inflow of visitors surpasses 2019, which is the benchmark year for Belize Tourism. However, increased visitors to Belize means an increased demand for the facilities at the BZE Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA).

To address that need Minister Mahler said that there is an ongoing, long-term project for the upgrade of the PGIA.

Anthony Mahler (Minister of Tourism) said that marketing efforts are being ramped up in Mexico and South America, but the airport upgrades are important since the United States remains Belize’s number one tourist market.

Currently Americans (from the US) make up 69.3% of Belize tourism in 2024.

Belize along with the BTB (Belize Tourism Board) are increasing the marketing efforts attracting regional tourism and tourism from Latin American markets. While also expanding the reach and accessibility of the primary Belize Tourism markets of the US & Canada.

Belize has shown impressive tourism numbers through 2023 and now record breaking in 2024 due to quick and clever travel regulations and practices put into place. Belize has also improved the accessibility with more non-stop direct flights and increased number of airlines (and destinations).

2024 has been a record-breaking year for Belize tourism! In Q1 2024, Belize has seen record-breaking tourism arrivals (January to March 2024).

This indicates that year-to-date, Belize Overnight Tourism has had a record-breaking numbers and the highest volume in the countries tourism history.

 

 

 

Belize Overnight Tourism Arrivals in 2024

 

January 2024 Overnight Tourists: 57,628

February 2024 Overnight Tourists: 59,067

March 2024 Overnight Tourists: 69,202

 

Total Q1 2024 Overnight Tourists: 185,897

 

 

Overnight tоurіѕm arrivals to Belize increased bу оvеr 27.9% іn Q1 2024 (Јаnuаrу to March), compared tо the ѕаmе реrіоd lаѕt уеаr (2023). The trend in Belize tourism is expected to have continued growth, this is seen by the 17.5% increase in overnight tourism from 2019 (Q1). This is expected to result in an оvеrаll 11% estimated growth fоr the Belize tоurіѕm ѕесtоr іn 2024.

Belize Tourism rebounded strongly in 2023 and has continued in 2024. The stats from the early months of 2024 signal that the year 2024 will be a record-breaking year for inbound tourism to Belize!

 

2024 has seen record-breaking inbound tourism numbers. This has been largely due to the increased number of direct flights and the improved accessibility to Belize (internationally).

February 2024 was a record-setting month for Belize tourism. This record-setting tourism month was quickly superseded by March 2024 which saw an impressive 69,202 overnight tourists arrive in Belize!

March 2024 has now became the highest single month for overnight tourism in Belize at 69,202 tourists. The prior single-month record (before 2024) was in March 2019 at 57,697 overnight tourists.

Total Overnight Tourists for Q1 in 2024 was 185,897. This is 27.9% higher than in 2023 (last year Q1) and 17.5% higher than the prior record set in 2019.

 

 

 

 

Direct Flights to Belize 2024

 

 

 

Increased International Flights to Belize

The largest factor to the growth in Belize tourism has been the increased air transport and increase in direct international flights to Belize. In March 2024, there were 511 international flights landing at BZE (Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City). 

PGIA Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport BZE

 

 

 

BZE International Flights in 2024

Average of 71 International Flights a Day
Daily Range of 42 to 153 International Flights

 

 

 

 

Direct Flights Washington DC & Baltimore (BWI) to Belize (BZE) with Southwest Airlines

SouthWest Airlines started direct flights from BWI to Belize on March 9, 2024

SouthWest Airlines BWI to BZE

 

Direct Flights New York (JFK) to Belize (BZE) with JetBlue

JetBlue Starts Direct Flights from New York JFK

JetBlue Announces Direct Flights to Belize from New York JFK

 

JetBlue New York (JFK) to Belize (BZE)

  • Monday
  • Wednesday
  • Saturday

Scheduled flight times are the following (all times are local):

  • JFK to BZE: Departs at 8:29 a.m. and arrives at 12:14 p.m.
  • BZE to JFK: Departs at 1:30 p.m. and arrives at 7:00 p.m.

JetBlue Belize Flight Deals

 

 

 

Belize Tourism Future Outlook

Веlіzе’ѕ tоurіѕm industry іѕ booming, as seen in Q1 of 2024 and the first few mоnthѕ оf the year setting all-time highs and hіѕtоrіс rесоrd-breaking numbers in overnight tourism. The tourism growth (the largest sector in Belizean economy) is estimated tо gеnеrаtе аn unprecedented $1.4 bіllіоn іn rеvеnuе in 2024, this was announced by Minister of Тоurіѕm Аnthоnу Маhlеr.

With the Mayan Train in Mexico and increased travel and tourism from Latin America and South America. That said, the airport upgrades are important since the United States represents the largest percentage of overnight tourism arrivals.

Currently Americans (from the US) make up 69.3% of Belize tourism in 2024.

Belize has shown impressive tourism numbers through 2023 and now record breaking in 2024 due to quick and clever travel regulations and practices put into place. Belize has also improved the accessibility with more non-stop direct flights and increased number of airlines (and destinations).

“The success of the recovery is a testament to the power of collaboration. Tourism leaders, businesses, governments, organizations, airlines, and our hospitality professionals have achieved impressive results by working together. We are grateful for the hard work and close partnerships that continue to allow us to recover and soar to new heights,” says Nicola Madden-Greig, President of, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

 

Latin America & South American Tourism

“Our key source markets come from the United States, Canada and we think Mexico and Latin America both areas have great opportunity for us.”

  • Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism

Tourism in Belize is growing, and the competition is getting stronger now that we can look at the pre-pandemic and post-pandemic trends. Diversifying the attraction and marketing of Belize by widening the net is pivotal. The 2023 data by ForwardKeys shows there is a real potential to convert more international arrivals from Latin America, specifically Colombia and Argentina.

“Through our air ticketing data, we are observing a significant leap from the Latin Markets into the Caribbean and Belize, especially from Central America, Colombia, and Argentina. Even more encouraging is that they are flying in premium-class cabins, more than before the pandemic. A worthy market to tap into,” says Olivier Ponti, VP of Insights at ForwardKeys.

Beyond the main traditional markets, the US and Canada, there are tourism opportunities to be found in the neighboring countries. Latin American markets represent an exciting opportunity for Belize and the Caribbean.

Travel demand for Belize as a destination quickly gained momentum after most regional countries dropped travel requirements. The strong pent-up demand has been propelling visitor arrivals from Latin America beyond pre-pandemic levels, up by 14% in 2023, and with greater growth potential. The best-performing markets in the region are Colombia, Peru, and Argentina.

 

 

 

International Flight Connectivity

 

The restoration of air connectivity is one of the key factors driving post-COVID-19 travel demand recovery, and Latin America is no exception. After years of limited travel activity, now Latin American travelers have fewer options to get to their desired Caribbean vacation. Fewer direct flights, and lower flight frequencies, make it harder and more costly to travel. In this scenario, connections with gateway airports are fundamental to remaining competitive.

Panama City (PTY) has emerged as a key gateway hub for Latin America, particularly, for connecting this region to the Caribbean. This is a result of a decided and successful strategy to transform Panama’s Tocumen International Airport into an intra-regional airport hub. Panama has become the first choice when transitioning to the Caribbean, gaining a share over other regional airports, such as Bogota, Lima and Miami.

While it is not always feasible to develop direct flight connections with emerging markets, establishing regular and frequent connections with the right network airports is fundamental for reaching a more diverse travel audience.

 

Ambergris Caye & San Pedro

Ambergris Caye Remains #1 Top Destination in Belize!

Ambergris Caye and San Pedro Town are the top destination for overnight tourism in Belize. With 53.2% of the Overnight Tourists coming to Ambergris Caye.

In March 2024, the San Pedro Airport had over 2,000 inbound and outbound flights. Peak is Saturday, with an average of 180 flights.

Monthly Average of 58 Departures Daily (6:30 am to 17:00 pm)
Monthly Average of 66 Arrivals Daily (7:20 am to 19:45 pm)

 

 

Belize Investment Opportunities

The Belize tоurіѕm ѕесtоr rеmаіnѕ роіѕеd fоr further growth with more development and improved accessibility! This has industry experts орtіmіѕtіс and bullish on Belize as a destination (for tourists and investors).

Tourism growth, increased awareness, offshore residency, and improved connectivity have all led to higher investment yields for real estate and investment properties in Belize. Ambergris Caye remains the the top destinations in Belize for overnight tourists.

Additional Links:

Q1 2024 Belize Record Breaking Tourism

Belize Tourism January & February 2024

Ambergris & Belize Tourism Data 2023

Caribbean & Regional Tourism 2023

If you are looking to learn more about Belize tourism and Belize real estate, contact us!

 

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