Who visits Belize

Where is Belize Map
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Since its initial creation in 2014, I update this post yearly to reflect the most current insights on inbound travel to Belize.

The goal is to simply provide information on the demographics of Belize overnight visitors and their travel patterns within the country.

Belize Overnight Visitors

Overnight visitors to Belize increased 25% in 2023

Belize welcomed 467,722 overnight visitors in 2023, marking a 25% increase from 2022. Despite this growth, the figures fall just short of the pre-pandemic levels, where a record-breaking 503,166 overnight tourists were recorded in 2019.

Belize’s tourism industry, while experiencing steady growth, remains relatively modest in comparison to neighboring countries. For example, Mexico attracted over 40 million tourists, and Guatemala drew approximately 2.5 million visitors.

Where are Belize visitors from?

Most visitors to Belize are from the U.S. (68%)

In 2023, 68% of visitors to Belize were from the U.S., with most American tourists coming from Texas, California, Florida, Colorado, and New York. These travelers typically enjoy visiting Belize since it’s only a few hours away by plane, it’s an English-speaking country, and they like beach and jungle adventures.

Interestingly, the U.S. is also home to the largest Belizean community outside of Belize (estimated at about 100,000). They primarily live in California, Texas, Chicago and Florida, with a high percentage of them returning for popular holidays in Belize such as Easter, the September Celebrations and Christmas.

When do people typically visit Belize?

Most tourists visit Belize in Dec, Mar & Feb (34%)

Wintertime in North America is when most people visit Belize and so it’s no surprise that most overnight visitors are from the U.S. I honestly keep waiting for more Canadian travelers to visit Belize since their winters are brutal. But I guess most Canadians go to Cuba or Mexico since they prefer all inclusive packages that include flights and hotel accommodations.

Where in Belize do people go?

Ambergris Caye, which includes San Pedro Town, draws most Belize visitors (29%)

Once in Belize, overnight visitors are primarily drawn to the northern cayes, western Belize and central coast. In 2023, the top three destinations were: Ambergris Caye, Cayo (which includes San Ignacio), and Belize City, accounting for 56% of overnight visitors to Belize. FYI, the table above only lists the top visited destinations and since people often visit more than one place, the total percentage figure doesn’t add up to 100%.

How do people enter Belize?

Most visitors to Belize arrive via PGIA (77%)

Of all the overnight visitors that Belize welcomed in 2023, the majority, 77%, entered through Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City. The Belize-Guatemala border accounted for 14% of these visitors, while the Belize-Mexico border saw 6%. As for seaport entries, 2% came in through San Pedro, and 1% each arrived at Punta Gorda, and Dangriga/ Big Creek.

Types of accommodation in Belize

Pool and Beach at Hamanasi

Belize is a vacation destination that primarily has boutique hotels and resorts. In total, the country has around 900 hotels with the average hotel having 10 to 15 rooms. This is a stark difference from neighbouring countries such as Mexico which has hundreds of international hotel chains. Consider booking hotel reservations early since often the top hotels and resorts sell out 2 to 3 months in advance during the tourism high season.



Reader Interactions


  1. Viannie Canul Montero says

    Interesting to know that a lot of Belizeans live abroad. Do you have an exact number on that?

    • A.K.K.S. says

      At least 200,000 Belizeans live abroad (not counting their foreign-born children). The number is likely higher, cannot properly be verified.

      Belizeans abroad vary, but most of us are Kriol or Garifuna. This has dramatically shifted the demographics back home in Belize.

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