Latin America & South America Growth Opportunities for Belize

Latin America & South America Growth Opportunities for Belize Tourism

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.

The largest Caribbean Regional tourism growth was from Colombia which was up +48% from 2019 to 2023.




Flight Connectivity from Latin America & South America

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.



Record-Breaking Belize Tourism in Q1 2024

Belize Tourism Prompt Airport Upgrades