ALTA invites Belize to work together towards a State Agenda for the aviation and tourism development
It is necessary a State Agenda with public policies that encourage the country's competitiveness, promote adequate infrastructure, investments in tourism training and the promotion of sustainable practices that protect the country's natural and cultural heritage.
November 9, 2023
Belize, november 9th - According to forecasts by the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), 104,608 domestic and 8,895 international flights will operate in Belize in 2023. International traffic will reach pre-pandemic levels, but domestic traffic is still lagging behind.
Air transport plays a key role in Belize as about 80% of tourists arrive by air. One out of every three dollars generated in Belize's economy comes from international tourism and two out of every five jobs in the country depend on international tourism.
Hence the importance of a State Agenda with public policies that encourage the country's competitiveness, promote adequate infrastructure, investments in tourism training and the promotion of sustainable practices that protect the country's natural and cultural heritage.
Belize, thanks to its natural and historic resources, is a great attraction for tourists throughout the world. However, to keep and improve this influx, it is essential to ensure that the country remains an attractive and accessible destination. Airport infrastructure, direct flight connections and immigration facilities are crucial on this issue.
Eight out of every 10 tourists arriving in Belize come from the United States and Europe. There is still a great opportunity to diversify and increase the number of tourists from Latin America which requires improving the regulatory framework to allow more flights and optimize the country's connectivity with countries in the region and make Belize a more attractive and competitive country.
These measures will generate direct, indirect and induced benefits for the country and the socioeconomic development of the population. According to the Belize Tourism Board, on average during the year, two out of every three hotel rooms are unoccupied in Belize, leaving the infrastructure underutilized. These rooms could be occupied by more tourists from the main source markets, as well as by diversifying inbound tourism by attracting more tourists from the region. But it is important to improve the competitiveness of the country and particularly the aviation sector by implementing the following strategies and actions:
- Airport and Facility Modernization: It is crucial to have modern and efficient airports capable of handling a greater number of flights and passengers.
- Direct Connections: Establish more direct air connections to main source and potential markets, reducing waiting times and making travel more attractive.
- Joint Promotion: Work in collaboration with airlines to promote Belize as a tourist destination, offering packages and special offers.
- Competitive Tariffs: Study the market and establish competitive air tariffs in order to reduce the final price of tickets and attract more tourists.
- Flexibility in Visa Policies: Facilitate the entry of tourists from different countries, especially for the Latin American countries with tourism potential. Currently 104 source markets of tourists do not require a visa to enter Belize. As a reference, Ecuador has 172 source markets with no visa requirements.
"Our role at ALTA is to serve as a bridge between the aviation industry and the States to develop State Agendas including short, medium and long-term strategies to promote the growth of an essential sector for the population. Not only because it is a fundamental means of transport that makes up for the lack of other efficient modes of transport, but also because of the great impact it has on the economy through the creation of jobs, income for multiple industries, tax contributions, among others. We are in Belize at this moment to be available to the authorities for creating these joint work agendas which will surely have a great impact on the country, especially because Belize is the only country that makes part of CARICOM, SICA and CELAC", comments José Ricardo Botelho, ALTA's Executive Director & CEO.