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Tourism Fuels Business and Economy in Belize

Posted by Valeria Espinoza on Oct 18, 2012 7:28:23 AM
Valeria Espinoza

Belize is economically stable and constantly growing. As the only English-speaking country in Central America, the country has attracted a number of foreign investors and expatriates. Many expatriates have started businesses in the area and continue to work to facilitate growth in the area. The government encourages foreign investments and continues to experience growth because of its acceptance of these types of investors.

Belize’s Historical Revenue Generators

Historically, Belize’s economy depended on the export of mahogany, chicle and logwood. The logwood was used to manufacture dyes. Belize focused on exporting mahogany after the Europeans capitalized on the dye industry. Mahogany was once a major source of revenue, but the supply of mahogany dwindled since no new trees were planted.

Belize’s Current Revenue Generators

Now, the economy is primarily shifted to tourism, fishing, agriculture and banking. Oil and other manufactured goods also contribute to the economy. Belizeans continue to make furniture from mahogany and often export the furniture to North America to generate revenue and share a piece of its culture.

Cane sugar is another revenue generator and common export. Belize often exports lobster, citrus, bananas and clothing. Rum, beer, soft drinks and boats are also manufactured locally and shipped out. Many foreign investors have started businesses in Belize because of the tax concessions offered. Belize’s government offered these concessions to encourage foreign investments.

Financial asset protection services and offshore banking are also revenue generators. Belize attracts numerous North Americans seeking to establish international business corporations, bank accounts and trusts. This stimulates the economy and is expected to fuel future growth.

Belize has recently started to generate income from the oil industry. Belize’s gross domestic product (GDP) is largely comprised of sales from sweet crude oil extraction. This industry represents 30 percent of Belize’s total GDP. Belize's oil production revenue is increasing rapidly. Over $500 million annually if generated from sweet crude oil production and sales.

Belize is home to companies such as Duke Energy International, Texaco, Esso, MCI and Archer Daniels Midland. The companies are primarily in the energy, agricultural and telecommunications sector. Despite the diverse foreign investments, tourism yields the most foreign investment of any industry in Belize.

Despite Belize’s support of the oil industry, the country remains dedicated to eco-tourism. The citizens of Belize are determined to preserve the environment despite the efforts to promote the oil industry. Agriculture is Belize’s primary focus for income generation, but tourism is a second to the agriculture. Many people flock to Belize to view the coral reef, Mayan ruins and tropical wildlife. Visitors also enjoy visiting the numerous offshore islands and engaging in sport fishing. These tourism activities keep people coming back to Belize for relaxation, recreation, exploration and investments.

Belize protects 44 percent of its sea and land resources for the tourism industry. There are nearly 92 reserves of varying levels of protection. For this reason, the tourism industry has witnessed considerable growth in the industry.

Ambergris Caye and Belize Can Be a Good Beginning for Businesses

Many foreign investors should consider starting a business in Belize because of the tax incentives and the low cost of living. Because many expatriates are already in the country, the country is prepared for significant economic growth in the future. Consider how Belize can help your business grow and thrive.

To learn more, contact GrandBaymen for information.

Topics: Tourism in Belize

Valeria Espinoza

Written by Valeria Espinoza