A couple years ago I wrote an article on who visits Belize the most. Since some time has gone by, I thought it would be great to write an update – the update includes Belize tourism statistics of 2015 and a visitor market share analysis. The analysis may benefit potential visitors and hotels/ tour operators looking to promote their businesses.
According to the Belize Tourism Board, 1.3 million tourists visited Belize in 2015. Out of that number, the majority, 957,975 were cruise passengers and 341,125 were overnight tourists. Fortunately, there was an increase of 6.2% of overnight visitors compared to 2014.
Once overnight visitors are in Belize, the most visited destinations are the islands and coastal regions. In 2015, the top five leading destinations were:
1. Ambergris Caye;
2. Caye Caulker;
3. San Ignacio/ Cayo District;
4. Placencia; and
5. Belize City and surrounding area.
Market share analysis reveals that almost 3/4 of visitors to Belize are from the US, followed by Europeans with 12% and Canadians with 7% (figure 1). Examining the top 10 US visitors by State reveals that most American tourists come from Texas and California (figure 2). These US travelers usually love the outdoors and enjoy experiential travel. However, it must be noted that this data is only from the overnight tourists who visited Belize in 2014.
As was discovered in the market share analysis (figure 1 & 2), individuals who visit Belize are primarily from the USA, particularly Texas and California. These travelers usually love the outdoors and enjoy experiential travel. Therefore, Belize’s target audience can be categorized into three types of travelers that are from the US: outdoor travelers, cultural explorers, and adventure challengers that are looking for soft (i.e. scenic walks, swimming) and hard (i.e. diving, hiking, spelunking) adventures. Individuals are primarily educated, between the ages 35-55, and are from middle and upper-middle class backgrounds.
The target audience can be reached via online marketing, targeted advertising and travel trade shows.