According to the Belize Tourism Board, a record number of European tourists have visited Belize this year. In the first six months of 2017, European overnight visitors were up 9.1% compared to the same period last year.
In April 2017 alone, the number of European tourists visiting Belize was up 24.2% compared to April 2016. Demonstrating similar growth, June 2016 saw an increase of 10% more European overnight visitors as compared to the year before.
Although there are no non-stop flights from Europe directly to Belize, many European holidaymakers have availed themselves of record low airfare from connecting cities across Canada and the United States. All six of the biggest airlines in North America now offer non-stop flights to Belize, making it easier and more affordable than ever for Europeans to visit Belize.
Located just south of Cancún in Mexico, Belize is famous for its golden beaches and hundreds of offshore islands. Ever since French marine biologist Jacques Cousteau visited Belize in 1971, the Belize Barrier Reef has been a mecca for snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, and fishing.
The mainland also draws in visitors from around the world. A rich landscape of pristine rivers, lush rainforests, and thick jungles teeming with colorful bird species and exotic wildlife, Belize is also home to more ancient Maya temples, pyramids, and ceremonial caves than anywhere else on the planet. All in all, more than a third of Belize is set aside as a protected wilderness sanctuary or national park.
As Belize increasingly becomes a tourist hotspot, it also has begun to develop a robust expat community. German-speaking Mennonites have been in the country for more than a century, but thriving expat communities are well-established in places like Corozal in Belize’s north along the Mexican border.
Belize is approximately the same size as Wales, but it has a small population of just 360,000 people. Belize is the only country in the region where English is the official language, but it has a true melting pot society where languages like Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna (an Afro-Caribbean tongue), and Chinese all mingle together.
Since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1981, Belize has warmly welcomed foreign investment. There are no restrictions on buying, selling, or renting property in Belize for non-locals. Sometimes described as a “tax haven,” the government of Belize has strong protections in place to allow individuals to protect their hard-earned assets.