Belize - Country Commercial Guide
Travel and Tourism
Last published date:


Except for a sharp, temporary contraction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Belize has seen steady growth in its travel and tourism sector, with strong demand from American tourists and retirees.  Tourism is the leading economic sector, a major contributor to Gross Domestic Product, and source of foreign exchange.  This growth has promoted development in related sectors of the economy, notably real estate, construction, logistics, infrastructure, and finance.

The national government is focused on expanding overnight opportunities for high-end travelers, the bulk of which would be Americans, and prestige international hotel chains have announced major construction projects for luxury accommodations in recent years.

Tourism-related opportunities for investment and trade include eco- and agri-tourism, adventure, nature, cruise, and other nautical tourism-related activities. There are numerous archaeological and cultural sites, including several of the largest Mayan cities and temples in Central America, as well as one of the most expansive limestone cave systems in the Americas. 

Hospitality and Tourism Industries

As an English-speaking destination near the United States, Belize is popular for American tourists and retirees. Americans comprise an estimated 70 percent of all tourists. Supporting the tourism industry is a major subsector of interest to U.S. businesses and investors, which includes accommodations and lodging, restaurant and hotel equipment, tourist attractions, and travel marketing agencies. Nature-based tourism that promotes sand and sea, Mayan and Garifuna culture, leisure pursuits, and adventure tourism are some of the key attractions for tourists. Belize is also increasingly recognized for its second-home buyers’ market, along with other countries in Central America, including Panama and Costa Rica. The Government of Belize has several tax and visa policies to encourage foreign retirees to reside in Belize.

Most of Belize’s tourism sector offers a boutique experience, often focusing on adventure and recreational or ecotourism activities. Opportunities for investment also exist in general merchandising; printing, marketing and promotional materials and supplies; “green” food packaging; construction equipment and supplies; and more recently, medical tourism. 


Tourism and travel services continue to flourish and are expected to increase in the next two years as additional U.S. airports expand flights to Philip Goldson International Airport.  U.S. airlines have announced additional upcoming nonstop service to Belize from Baltimore, Denver, and New York in 2023 and 2024.   

Areas of expected growth include ecotourism and adventure tourism, such as wildlife viewing, caving expeditions, hiking, and zip-lining; beach resorts; cruise ship tourism facilities such as shopping centers, spas, restaurants, cafes and bars; automobile and boat rental services; guided and educational activities like diving, canoeing, cooking, and horseback riding; marine services like cruise tendering, marinas, ship husbandry and berthing for yachts, sailboats, and charter boats.


  • Belize Tourism Board (BTB) 
  • Belize Tourism Industry Association
  • Belize Hotel Association 
  • Government of Belize Procurement Portal