Tourism Industry in Belize

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Date Submitted: 02/19/2013 09:14 PM

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Tourism Industry in Belize

Tourism is defined as a service based industry comprising a number of tangible and intangible components. The tangible elements include transportations, foods and beverages, tours, souvenirs and accommodation, while the intangible elements involve education, culture, adventure or simply escape and relaxation. In most of the countries in the region, tourism is a sector that is not very well defined and whose activities are often included under other sectors in national accounts. However, in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, which are frequently affected by disasters, tourism is a significant sector of the economy because of the foreign currency earnings and employment it generates.

Tourism for Belize began in the mid-1960s. At the time Belize became known as a diving destination. For almost two decades, development was focused on the cayes, and in particular, on San Pedro Ambergris Caye. Traditional tourism (sun, sea and sand) was the main attraction and what was marketed internationally. In the mid to late 1980s, Belize’s profile as a tourism destination took a new course as it was among the first countries to strongly embrace the new, rapidly growing form of tourism known as ecotourism, focused on the nature-based experiences offered by Belize mainland, as its national tourism policy and direction. This did not mean, in any way, that mainland activities replaced traditional (sun, sea and sand) tourism but rather complemented it

The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) was formed in 1985 to bring together tourism-related interests to meet the challenges of the industry and act as an important link between the public and private sectors. The BTIA has chapters in each district of Belize, and includes a broad range of individual members from all areas of the industry as well as representation from associations such as the Belize Hotels Association, Belize Tour Guides Association, Belize Tour Operators...