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Driving tourism in Belize, ECI Development

What is Driving Tourism in Belize

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Central America, Belize boasts rich rainforests filled with colorful flora and fauna, unique islands along a stunning barrier reef, and a diverse culture that embraces its visitors with unmatched warmth. With its sunny climate, impressive natural resources and seemingly endless festivals and events throughout the year, more and more visitors keep adding Belize to their must-see list.

One of the most popular draws to Belize is its Lobster Festivals. Held in three different locations:

Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and Placencia, the opportunity to indulge in the tasty crustacean in completely different settings is especially appealing.

The lobster festivals are a reminder of the rich marine resources that continuously draw visitors by the thousands. Belize was popularized by the diving community, with the beautiful Mesoamerican Barrier Reef running all along its coast. The Belize Blue Hole, various channels and marine reserves make the perfect spots for avid divers. Other watersports like fishing, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking and paddleboarding are all easily enjoyed on the azure seas.

Ambergris Caye takes the spotlight once again with its Pre-Lenten Carnaval, a celebration similar to Mardi Gras and one that showcases dancing, music, men and women in costumes, colorful paints and more. Visitors especially enjoy getting into the thick of the celebratory crowds, chasing after each other with colorful powders and paints. In September, a different style of Carnival parade is held across the nation’s municipalities, but the most popular is the National Independence Carnival. Massive and elaborate costumes, music and revelry fill the air as carnival groups pass through the streets of Belize City. A true celebration of Belizean culture and history, this event draws nearly every Belizean to the roadside to admire, and tourists have been making a point to visit to enjoy as well.

Another tasty annual festival is the Chocolate Festival of Belize, and it is held in the land of the cacao: Toledo. An unspoiled, verdant district in the very south of Belize, Toledo’s rich soil and climate is ideal for growing cacao plants. This is the base of chocolate, and as a place with a rich history and home to the Ketchi Maya, it is only natural that the festival be held there and honors the ancestry of this delicious treat. Food, wine, truffles, candies, cultural presentations and more, are the features of this annual celebration. As a bonus, the main brewing company of Belize, Bowen & Bowen, also debuts its seasonal chocolate stout during this time. For those who enjoy craftsmanship in a bottle, the Belikin Chocolate Stout is a must have.

It’s not all festivals and events in Belize, however! The rich landscape of this compact country offers a variety of land-based activities. From hiking in the jungle, up waterfalls and ancient Maya archaeological sites, to cave tubing in dark, mysterious caves, and ziplining through the treetops in scenic locations all across the region, visitors can fill their days with endless excitement!

With travel booming once more, and direct flights available from major cities across the US and even Canada and Central America, getting to Belize is easier than ever. From Southwest to American, to United, Delta, Spirit, Frontier and Copa, there’s no wonder Belize welcomes over half a million (2019) visitors a year – that is more than its entire population!

The majority of visitors making their way to Belize are from the United States (70%), but Canadians, Europeans and Mexicans are quickly discovering this gem of a country too! Throughout it all, the smiles and warm welcomes from people of various ethnicities are the same. Welcome to Belize…welcome home!

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