Belize Fastest Growing Caribbean Destination 2024

Belize is the Fastest-Growing Caribbean Destination

Belize is experiencing a significant travel boom. Based on the travel number for 2024, Belize is the the Fastest-Growing Caribbean Destination.

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), with lead travel analyst ForwardKeys, released a comprehensive report on Caribbean Tourism.

Surrounded by the tropical Caribbean Sea in Central America, Belize is undergoing “impressive” tourism growth, according to a study carried out by analytics firm ForwardKeys.

So far in 2024, Belize has seen a 30% increase in international tourists. These figures represent the fastest growth rate of any destination in the Caribbean.

 

Belize tourism is up 30% in 2024 (Jan to June). The 30% growth rate is impressive when compared to similar high-growth destinations; Curacao is up 24%, while Aruba has seen arrivals climb by 20%, according to ForwardKeys.

In 2024 (January to June), Belize saw record-breaking tourist arrivals, earning Belize the position as one of the “Fastest-Growing Destinations in the Region.”

 

 

 

Belize has seen faster tourism growth than any other destination in the Caribbean. Belize far outperformed similarly booming destinations like Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Aruba, The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and more.

Belize saw a 30% increase in arrivals for the first half of 2024. The 30% growth rate in Belize is impressive when compared to similar high-growth destinations; Curacao is up 24%, and Aruba is up 20%.

 

 

ForwardKeys called Belize’s growth “impressive.” The country has seen tourism growth steadily increase since post-pandemic travel relaunched.

Belize tourism and overnight arrivals, has had a record-breaking year. Belize saw a 30% increase in 2024 (January through June) compared to 2023. Belize also had an increase of 17.5% in tourism arrivals from the benchmark tourism of 2019 (compared to the same timeframe before the pandemic).

 

Belize Stands Out in 2024

In 2024 (January to June), Belize saw record-breaking tourist arrivals, earning Belize the position as one of the “Fastest-Growing Destinations in the Region.”

According to ForwardKeys, Belize has so far seen a 30% increase in arrivals for the first half of 2024 (compared to the same period in 2023). Belize was listed as the Fastest Growing Destination.

In 2024 (January to June), Belize saw record-breaking tourist arrivals, earning Belize the position as one of the “Fastest-Growing Destinations in the Region.” Belize saw a 30% increase in arrivals for the first half of 2024. The 30% growth rate in Belize is impressive when compared to similar high-growth destinations; Curacao is up 24%, and Aruba is up 20%. Belize is the Fastest-Growing Destination in 2024.

 

 

Belize Tourism 2024

Belize is listed as the fastest-growing mid-tier destination.

Mid-tier Caribbean destinations show impressive growth in the first half of 2024. Belize leads this ranking with international arrivals up +30% year-on-year. This is again driven by the U.S. market, in this case primarily due to bookings from New York, which are +91% higher than 2023 following the launch of new direct flights in December.

 

 

Key Factors for Growth

The ForwardKeys report also included stats on all the Caribbean markets and the factors driving regional and destination growth.

  • Increased Family Travel. Belize was the second-ranked destination in the region for family travel, with a +35% increase, following only Curaçao, which saw a 38% increase.
  • An Increase in Latin American visitors (Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina in particular).
  • An increase in travelers visiting the Caribbean to attend carnivals and festivals.

 

 

Top Family-Travel Destinations

Belize ranks 2nd among all destinations in the region, with a 35% increase in family travel.

Increased Family Travel. Belize was the second-ranked destination in the region for family travel, with a +35% increase, following only Curaçao, which saw a 38% increase.

 

 

 

Caribbean Destination Tourism & Seat Capacity

ForwardKeys Seat Capacity includes information on scheduled direct flights and their seat capacity to the different destinations.

Airline capacity reflects the planned total seat capacity airlines expect to offer. Change in seat capacity is a reflection of the supply and demand for a destination.

 

 

Caribbean vs Global Travel

Caribbean is the top growth tourism region since 2019. Belize is one of the fastest growing destination in the Caribbean region!

The Caribbean is recognized as the most tourism-dependent region in the world, with tourism serving as the largest economic contributor for many nations within the area.

 

 

Caribbean Travel 2024 vs 2023

The Caribbean is up 13% in 2024 compared to the year prior (2023 from Jan to June). Caribbean travel is 10% higher in 2024 than pre-COVID levels of 2019.

Belize tourism is up 30% in 2024 compared to the year prior (2023 from Jan to June). Belize travel is 19% higher in 2024 than pre-COVID levels of 2019.

 

Caribbean Travel 2024 vs 2019

Caribbean tourism is up 10% from 2019. Belize tourism is up 17.5% from 2019. Which is a strong indicator of the regions tourism rebound.

 

Caribbean Travel & Connectivity

Analysis of detailed air capacity data reveals that connectivity to the Caribbean is showing impressive growth, increasing +13% overall in the first half of 2024 compared to the previous year. Canada is contributing significantly to this success — with an increase in seat capacity of +17% making it the largest origin market currently performing above the global average. Meanwhile the largest origin market overall, the US, tracks global average growth at 13%.

Intra-Caribbean connectivity expanded by 20% year-on-year. This is a key enabler of multi-destination trips within the region.

 

The strong growth exhibited in tourism for the first half of 2024 — particularly in intra-regional connectivity — is crucial as the Caribbean seeks to attract more multi-destination travellers motivated to explore the diversity of the region’s tourism offer. It also enables regional destinations to target growth in high-value segments such as luxury travellers and family groups, who are more likely to travel to the Caribbean when increased international air capacity offers more flexibility in carrier choice and scheduling.

 

 

North American Travel to Caribbean

For the Caribbean, only the US market has fully recovered or exceeded 2019 levels, while the recovery rates of arrivals from Europe reached 88.2%, and Canada reached 88.1%, of 2019 tourism respectively. Caribbean travel from the US is up 12.6% from 2019.

 

 

Toronto emerges as the top-performing North American origin city for travel to the Caribbean in the first half of 2024, with arrivals up 23% year-on-year. This growth is supported by a 15% increase in seat capacity between Toronto and the Caribbean, with various airlines increasing the number of available flights.

In the United States, New York (+13%) also shows sustained growth.

Direct connectivity between North America and the Caribbean has improved significantly since 2019. In the first six months of 2024, 68% of all arrivals from the U.S. and Canada are flying directly to their Caribbean destination. 32% of arrivals will still connect via at least one connecting flight.

Increased connectivity from North American hubs expands the Caribbean and Belize’s reach into other U.S. and Canadian markets, attracting new travellers who can now reach the region’s destinations with just one stop.

 

 

Latin America Travel to Caribbean

The BTB (Belize Tourism Board) shared strategies being implemented to introduce Belize to Latin American travelers—a strategic move considering that Latin American travel within the region continues to grow. According to Forward Keys, Colombia and Brazil are the top-performing Latin American markets for Caribbean travel.

With Latin America seeing an emerging middle class, which has increasing disposable income that has led to a surge in outbound tourism.

Latin American region, boasting a population of over 650 million people and a combined GDP of over $5 trillion.

 

 

Latin America is a key emerging source market for Caribbean tourism.

The Latin America travel and tourism market is projected to expand significantly between 2024 to 2028, with its size anticipated to increase from USD $49.50 billion in 2023 to USD $64.42 billion by 2028 (Mordor Intelligence).

 

“Through our air ticketing data, we are observing a significant leap from the Latin Markets into the Caribbean, 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.

 

“Moreover, LATAM countries have been boosting capacity to the Caribbean. Colombia (+157%), Brazil (+187%), Mexico (+55%), and Peru (+13%) all are showing strong growths and audiences interested in a Caribbean holiday,” says Juan A. Gomez, Head of Market Intelligence at ForwardKeys.

 

 

 

 

 

Belize and Caribbean Tourism Investment

The Caribbean region has shown tremendous growth and tourism recovery throughout the years. Destinations like Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Belize are seeing an impressive increase in tourism arrivals.

Belize is experiencing a significant travel boom. International arrivals to Belize have surged by 30% in the first half of 2024 (January to June), with air arrivals showing the same impressive growth rate compared to 2023. This makes Belize the fastest-growing destination in the Caribbean.

Unlike many international beach destinations, Belize is an English-speaking country to makes the vacation experience for travelers even smoother. This also makes investing in Belize much easier as well, as Belize has full foreign ownership.

If you are looking to invest in Belize or purchase Belize real estate contact RE/MAX Belize!

 

 

 

Belize Economic Recovery Post Pandemic

Belize Economic Recovery

The tourism sector (a significant contributor to the Belize economy) was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with global tourism hitting a standstill. In 2019, tourism accounted for over 46% of Belize’s GDP. Fisheries, the second-largest source of employment in Belize, was also heavily affected. But Belize has made a quick comeback in the post-pandemic economic recovery.

 

Belize Tourism

In Belize, 1/4 (one in four) people are employed in the tourism sector or associated with the tourism industry. With such a large contribution to the country’s GDP and employment, the tourism sector’s strides since the pandemic has led to a quick bounce back. Belize has been aggressively marketing and expanding its reach, adding new direct international flights, broadening its reach, and positioning itself as a convenient and safe destination for sunseekers, investors, luxury tourists, eco-tourists, fishing enthusiasts, and divers. Belize’s proximity to the US (North America), affordable travel options, and the fact that Belize is English-speaking helped regain visitors’ confidence and led to a resurgence in Belize travel and the tourism industry.

In 2022, Belize witnessed an impressive 69.2% growth in overnight tourist arrivals (over 2021), with 370,524 visitors. However, it’s important to note that these numbers still fall short of the pre-pandemic levels of 2019, when over 500,000 tourists visited Belize. Additionally, cruise tourism saw a significant rebound, with 615,021 arrivals in 2022, representing a remarkable 192.6% increase compared to the previous year, 2021.

In Q1 2023, Belize saw an even higher tourism uptick than the prior year, with the highest Q1 inbound overnight tourism numbers. In Q1, 2023, Belize saw 143,319, overnight tourists. This is a 46.5% increase from Q1 2022.