The Lodge at Chaa Creek said new record-breaking figures just released by the Belize Tourism Board are one more reason why travellers should plan and book their Belize vacations early.
And, along with new tours and accommodations, the popular Belizean eco-resort has increased its team of “Belize Vacation Specialists” to help travellers get the most out of their holidays, according to general manager Bryony Fleming Bradley.
“We were delighted to see the new figures,” Ms Bradley said, “But, to be honest, they didn’t come as a huge surprise. Each year we see more and more new arrivals, and, here at Chaa Creek, an impressive number of guests have been returning.
“In fact, we had just allocated more resources for our vacation planning teams for 2017 just before the good news arrived,” she added.
The newly released Belize Tourism Board (BTB) figures show that Belize’s tourism industry has been enjoying record-breaking numbers of overnight arrivals for an unprecedented 15 consecutive months; from June 2015 to September 2016, with the upward trend expected to continue.
“We are now nine months through 2016 and the tourism arrival figures continue to show this upward trend, closing off this third quarter with an incredible 26.9 per cent increase for the month September 2016 over September 2015.
“Overall, the first nine months of 2016 recorded a total of 293,622 overnight arrivals, a 16.4 per cent increase over the same nine months of 2015, which had 252,329 overnight arrivals,” a BTB release stated.
The steady growth has been characterised with double-digit increases as high as 33% for some months with the third quarter of the year closing with a 26.9% increase for the month September 2016 over September 2015, the figures show.
Cruise arrivals also jumped during the same period, showing a 20.6% increase for September 2016 as compared to September 2015.
The figures also show that the United States remains Belize’s biggest customer, representing 67.4% of the market share, followed by Europe and then Canada.
Ms Bradley pointed to positive word of mouth combined with growing ease of travel as factors in Belize’s impressive growth.
“Belize is a relatively new travel destination that only really began to take off after independence in 1981, and with very little name recognition and a miniscule marketing budget compared to other destinations, we really relied on positive word of mouth to grow.
“Fortunately, good news about Belize quickly spread, and airlines responded with increased services and competitive rates, so that we now enjoy a great reputation and easier access for people from all over the world,” she said.
Ms Bradley explained that one of the things that sets Chaa Creek apart is the family owned and operated resort’s attention to personalised service. Early on, she said, specific teams were put in place to assist travellers in planning their Belize vacations.
“We appreciate how busy people are these days, and how important their vacations are, so years ago we put teams in place to work with families, couples, groups and individuals to create personalised, affordable holidays that cater to various interests. Whether it’s suggesting particular all-inclusive Belize vacation packages or crafting personalised, bespoke holidays, we’re happy to work with guests to make sure they get the most out of their time in Belize.
“Whether people are looking for a fun family holiday, a jungle adventure, Maya temple exploration, combination rainforest and Caribbean beach packages or a romantic getaway, they’ll have someone with the knowledge and expertise to steer them in the right direction.
“For example, our dedicated wedding planner has been organising destination weddings and honeymoons for years, handling everything from licences and celebrants to cakes, flowers, music, menus, entertainment and everything that goes into a perfect, carefree wedding,” Ms Bradley explained.
Set within a 400 acre private nature reserve straddling the Macal River in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, the Lodge at Chaa Creek offers a wide range of accommodations ranging from the signature cottage style rooms to villas and suites, with the new Ix Chel Luxury Villas, which feature panoramic views and personal butler service, scheduled to open early 2017.
The eco-resort has also become known as Belize’s “Destination Within a Destination” due to onsite amenities such as restaurant and lounge, infinity pool, professional spa, natural history museum, butterfly farm and conference centre. Activities such as horseback, mountain bike riding and guided or self-guided birding and nature walks through miles of maintained jungle trails and river canoeing and tubing, as well as an extensive menu of tours and excursions throughout Belize are all available, Ms Bradley said.
“Knowing that you can have breakfast in the US and then an excellent dinner in a pristine rainforest surrounded by toucans, parrots and monkeys so easily is a big draw for people. From the moment we collect our guests at Belize’s international airport or the Maya Flats airstrip at our front door, until we drop them back off, they’re completely looked after in an atmosphere of casual luxury.
“That’s not something a lot of other destinations can say, and helps explain our growing popularity.
“But at the end of the day, it’s really about people, and we like to think warm, friendly service is what keeps people coming back to Belize and Chaa Creek, Ms Bradley said.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek is a multi award winning eco resort set within a 400-acre private nature reserve along the banks of the Macal River in Belize.