We just passed the halfway mark for 2018, and according to recent Belize Tourism Board numbers, the country is gaining more popularity as a top vacation destination. Overnight tourist arrivals continue to rise at an increase of 17% compared to June 2017. Cruise ships skyrocketed 57% – over 73,000 arrived by water, a huge jump from the same time last year. Of course, once people come for a day they can’t help but to want more. This was the case for 43,000 travelers, up 15% from last June.
From ruins and rainforest to our spectacular barrier reef, delicious foods and beautiful souls, it is no surprise that more people are putting Belize on their vacation to do lists.
Other Important Numbers
It is a great thing tourism numbers are rising steadily because it generates more tacogirl flight code use. This, in turn, means that your simple travel-related action is hugely helping improve Belize health care. Which brings us to more very important numbers I have been waiting for so I could share.
I asked Raisa at the Belize Cancer Center in Dangriga to further educate me in on their situation. In addition to the 55 people a month who need a treatment subsidy, there are some extra monthly expenses (listed below) required by financially disadvantaged patients.
Medical pricing is in Belize currency.
Your flight code horizon use (at no extra cost to you) directly helps Cancer patients who need a hand and their families at a most critical time. They need to focus on getting well not worrying about where their treatment money will come from. Image of a young girl receiving treatment courtesy of the Belize Cancer Center.
Extra Monthly Subsidised Expenses
An average of three patients per month requires Herceptin, which is a medically preferred hormone replacement therapy for patients with hormone positive breast cancer. Generally, this is medication prescribed in a cycle of 6 doses at a total cost of $3000.
For diagnostic Laboratory and Imaging studies. An average of five patients per month requires financial support to pay for CT scans, other radiology studies, and other lab tests. Almost all of these patients are unemployed and have no financial resources.
The cost of a CT scan which is accessible only in Belmopan and Belize City is approximately $580.00 BZD.
An average set of lab work which includes CBC, Chemistry, and Tumor Marker Test cost approximately $150.00 BZD.
All of the above (pricing in Belize dollars) places a big monthly financial challenge for the Belize Cancer center and they are extremely grateful my readers have stepped up to help with a $250 June flight code donation.
The main reason (aside from helping people who need it the most) this cause is so near to my heart is that two great friends are fighting cancer right now. One is in the country on the mainland and knowing the center needs help, got me involved. Thanks, Cheryl, it has been a life changing experience.
Blue Water Grill Community Numbers
Every month Blue Water Grill Restaurant (BWG), Red Ginger Restaurant, The Phoenix Resort and Wine DeVine all collect and match customer donations towards a great cause. Currently, the goal is ongoing until enough is raised to purchase (and ship) a hematology analyzer for the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic. As of the end of July, The amount raised towards this important medical equipment is $29,487.30.
BWG Community thoughtfully fills a wide variety of great needs on this island and I am happy to help support their efforts. Using flight code also currently helps to their mission to help improve Ambergris Caye Healthcare. June’s flight code donation of $250.00 Belize dollars went towards the analyzer. This is a very important effort as the new equipment will help the clinic be able to get test results much faster and speed up the patient treatment process. There is no telling how far that will reach for islander’s health. If you are not in the country and want to support this cause, you can easily make a donation and check out their menu on the Blue Water Grill Restaurant Website. Picture of the great view courtesy of their facebook page.
Now that you have done your good deed by using flight code horizon to book your Tropic Air flights, it’s time to celebrate. Belize is one on the short list of countries that offers inbound duty-free shopping before you clear customs.
After landing at Philip Goldson International Airport, stop by Premier Tax and Duty-Free and use code vacation starter or mention tacogirl. This gets you a tax-free 15% savings on something great to toast your trip with or perhaps some stylin’ souvenir sunglasses to start your vacation. Premier offers some swanky brands: Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Carrera, Fossil and Guess – all perfect for looking fabulous in your vacation pics. These prices range from $70.00 to $200.00 USD depending on the brand – not bad for designer shades and 15% off is even more fabulous.
A new alcohol shipment just came in and there are some great deals on Zacapa XO at $60.00 USD, Glenmorangie 18-year-old single malt scotch whiskey $75.00 USD, 3 litre Crown Royal for $58.00 USD – Wow.
Below you can see the price difference examples between buying alcohol on Ambergris Caye versus upon arrival at Philip Goldson – notable savings.
|Item||Premier Duty Free - $USD||Ambergris Caye $USD|
|Jose Cuervo Gold||$18.00||$35.00|
|Red Wine (Santa Alicia)||$10.00||$18.00|
|Carton of Cigarettes (Marlboro)||$21.00||$33.00|
Click through for a more extensive comparison chart to see how great a deal you are getting. Please note the duty-free discount does not apply to sales items.
Another Great Savings Opportunity
I have signed up a great new line up of local discounts for my readers and set up a great new platform to showcase them and other useful travel info on tacogirl Belize blog Google maps business listing. 7 new restaurants and tour companies just signed on so keep watching as their listings are all in the process of going live. This means you will be easily able to save money on the spot or get a special offer with your picture coupon.
Local and International Airline News
This is an exciting time in terms of Belize flight options. Early airstrip completion and a new international flight option will help you enjoy jet-setting in style with a Mexico – Belize hook up. When it comes to vacations a taste of two great countries is better than one.
Caye Caulker Runway Repair
Same goes for islands (two is better), if you are not staying there, be sure and visit Caye Caulker. The new runway is expected to be finished ahead of schedule and Caye Caulker Airport is scheduled to reopen on October 1, well ahead of the projected November time frame. My CC correspondent B. Flood watched the project from start to finish on an almost daily basis and talked to the workers. He said they worked really hard and it appears sound. Note he qualified himself as having zero construction experience, but if you want to learn to swim he is your guy 😀 He also gets credit for the Caye Caulker pictures.
New Aeromexico Flight to Belize
On November 17th, Aeromexico begins seasonal direct service from Mexico City to Belize City until April 28, 2019. This option opens the unique travel opportunity for folks traveling from the U.S. and Canada that currently have no direct flights to Belize. Many will still require an overnight, but it’s a perfect way to check off two countries in one vacation. For me, Mexico is such a great transition stop in regards to Belize travel no matter which direction I am heading.
This new route will be operated on Saturday and Sunday. Flights from Mexico to Belize (MEX – BZE) will depart at 8:30 am and the flights from Belize to Mexico (BZE – MEX) will depart at 2:15 pm.
Something not many people know, it is already listed on Google Flights so you can start watching for price changes. Another great and little known about flight checker is FlightStats, a real-time worldwide flight tracking option that helps you easily monitor time and weather conditions. It is available by the website, downloadable as an app and searchable by flight number, airport or route.
Here is a link to the handy Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport Arrivals Tracker – Just click on a listed flight and you will get fantastic up to date information on the scheduled and estimated time of arrival among other things. Since we live in a smartphone generation, you can also get FlightStats App on Google Play or Itunes.
Aeromexico Plane photo courtesy of The Republiq
Tropic Air Invests in Tourism Numbers
Within the month of August, Tropic Air will sign off on the delivery of two Cessna Grand Caravan EX’s. These sparkling new planes are equipped with precision Garmin avionics, detailed weather radar, and air-conditioning for a comfortable flight.
“These aircraft represent a BZ$14,000,000 vote of confidence in the continued growth of tourism in Belize and in the expansion of Tropic Air,The Caravan is the right aircraft for Tropic as it allows us to serve all domestic airstrips within Belize. It also is the most technologically advanced aircraft in its class. We love its performance and passengers love it for the air-conditioning and comfort.” – John Greif III, Tropic Air President.
Steve Schulte, CEO of Tropic Air added, “As evidenced by our recent announcements of new interline partnerships with COPA and Condor Airlines, our increased service to Placencia, Roatan, San Pedro, and a restart of Caye Caulker operations, we are confident in our continued growth“.
Increased Flights to San Pedro
In addition to the “on the hour” flights, Tropic Air has increased service between San Pedro (SPR) and Belize City Municipal (TZA). There will now be 15 daily roundtrip flights. Flights will now begin at 6:30 am, from SPR with additional departures at 7:30 am, 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm.
The new departure times from TZA are 7:00 am, 8:00 am, 5:00 pm and the last one to the island leaves at 6:00 pm. This will benefit the business community and give the cave tubers and zip liners a little bit of “breathing room” to make the flights after their mainland excursions. In case you missed it the also popular Placencia is also benefitting from extra flights.
John Greif III, said, “Our business customers have been asking for earlier and later departures, as well as greater frequency on this important domestic route. With more aircraft being added to our fleet, we now have the ability to offer them greater flexibility to make the most of their day.”
Tropic Air has almost 40 years of service and flies to 15 destinations in Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala with over 200 daily scheduled flights and 15 aircraft. The popular airline staffs over 350 people to help make smooth flying for more than 300,000 passengers and 425,000 pieces of cargo in 2017.
Aerial Shot of San Pedro Airport by L Kelly Jones