As Belize reopens to tourists again, here’s a short piece simply to say welcome back and best of luck!
It’s great to see Belize reopening up to tourism today. As a Costa Rica-based commenter, I admit I’m often fixated on the Land of Pura Vida’s problems. But Belize has been through the wringer, without doubt, and we’ve tried to cover some of that these past months.
Happy passengers arrive in #Belize after 6 months. Our #TropicAir flight is waiting on you ?. #iFlyTropicAir #iFlyTropic pic.twitter.com/ESs2auAbVe
— Tropic Air (@tropicairbelize) October 1, 2020
Tourism in Belize is, comparatively speaking, even more important than in Costa Rica.
And it’s mega important in Costa Rica. In Belize though, tourism comprises over 40% of Belize’s GDP. So to go without tourism for so long, has been crippling for the Jewel.
We’ve seen it ourselves as we’ve spoken to people on the ground in Belize these past months. People helping out with jobs and feeding communities left adrift and helpless.
So to see the images of that first flight coming back in today was a good thing. By all accounts, it was a full flight.
Tourism insiders say they expect around 700 people to come to Belize between now and the weekend. Most of them will be returning Belizeans, but it’s a start, right?
Belize officially re-opens Philip Goldson International Airport https://t.co/aXdoripqO1
— Breaking Belize News (@belizemedia) October 1, 2020
And a start is all we have right now.
As a year, you can write off Belizean tourism, like everywhere else in Central America.
I also admit I have doubts about the whole “safe corridor” thing. I think if you’re COVID-19 negative you should be able to go anywhere in the country and not be tied down to your “Gold Standard” hotel or “Gold Standard” transfer or “Gold Standard” tour operator.
You should be able to get on a bus or water taxi if you wanted. Or wander down to a local place to eat or have a beer.
But this is temporary and I know it provides much-needed work for the employees in all these Gold Standard operations so I won’t be too churlish.
As I said, it’s only a start but it’s a great one. It’s a great sign of hope for an improving remainder-of-2020 and a better (we hope) 2021.
BTB’s “Safety Corridor” measures raise concern among industry stakeholders – The San Pedro Sun https://t.co/I4QANmUTQR via @SanPedroSun
— The San Pedro Sun (@SanPedroSun) September 24, 2020
Belize entry requirements for tourists:
- Download the Belize Health App (available on App Store or by clicking here and scrolling to where it says “download the app”) and fill it in to get your unique travel ID.
- Book your accommodations in advance at an approved Gold Standard hotel.
- Take a PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of boarding your flight. Travelers arriving without a test will take one at the airport at their own expense ($50).
The requirements differ for returning citizens, foreign residents, business travelers, and homeowners in Belize. Please follow the requirements that best suit your situation.
The day is finally here! Belize is officially open. To learn about the new safety measures, click here: https://t.co/bt1UeITmaO #TravelBelize #ACuriousPlace pic.twitter.com/gkrefAb0nA
— Belize Tourism Board (@belizevacation) October 1, 2020
Once again, it’s great to see Belize joining Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala by allowing all travelers in to enjoy its beautiful country. Panama is set to do the same on October 12. Best of luck to you all. Costa Rica, are you watching?
James Dyde is the editor of www.centralamerica.com. He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.