The tourism industry is an important part of the economy of Belize, in 2007 contributing to over 25% of all jobs, and making up over 18% of the GDP. This constituted 590 million BZD (295 million USD), according to the Belize government, up 90 million BZD (45 million USD) from the year before. Important tourist attractions in Belize include the natural attractions of land and sea, making the areas important in Ecotourism, as well as the historic ruins of Belize's Pre-Columbian Maya civilization.
The Great Blue Hole, located near Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Ruins of Xunantunich, near San Ignacio Town, Belize.
Tourism is the domain of the Ministry of Tourism, within which the Belize Tourism Board works as a link between the private and public sector.
A combination of natural factors—climate, the Belize Barrier Reef (longest in the Western Hemisphere), 127 offshore Cayes (islands), excellent fishing, safe waters for boating, scuba diving, and snorkeling, numerous rivers for rafting, and kayaking, various jungle and wildlife reserves of fauna and flora, for hiking, bird watching, and helicopter touring, as well as many Maya ruins—support the thriving tourism and ecotourism industry. Development costs are high, but the Government of Belize has designated tourism as its second development priority after agriculture. In 2007, tourist arrivals totaled 251, 655 (more than 210, 000 from the U. S. ) and tourist receipts amounted to $183. 3 million
Belizas kultūra veido ietekmes un cilvēki no Kriol, Maya, ciemos, (pazīstama arī kā Garifuna), metis (maisījums spāņu un Native amerikāņiem), menonīti, kuri ir Vācijas izcelsmes, ar maisījums daudzām citām kultūrām no Ķīnas uz Libānas. Tas ir unikāls maisījums, kas atklājās caur valsts ilgtermiņa un dažkārt vardarbīgas vēsture .
Pieklājība ir svarīgi, lai lielākā daļa Belizeans. Tas nav neparasti, Belizeans lai sveicināt viens otram uz ielas, pat ja viņi nekad nav redzējuši viens otru pirms, vai paziņām pavadīt minūšu laikā čatā, esot paviršam pret apkārt notiekošo tiem. Vēl viens kultūras aspekts, ir ideja par mistisko dziedināšanas un Obeah. Tomēr vēl joprojām runājam par ļaunuma šamaņa praksi, piemēram, liekot "Obeah" par dažiem mājas. Tas ir zināms, jāveic, aprakt pudelē ar "ļauno" ar koku tuvumā māja.
Midday meals vary, from lighter foods such as rice and beans or beans and rice with or without coconut milk, tamales, panades, (fried maize shells with beans or fish) and meat pies, escabeche (onion soup), chirmole (soup), stew chicken and garnaches (fried tortillas with beans, cheese, and sauce) to various constituted dinners featuring some type of rice and beans, meat and salad or coleslaw. In the rural areas meals may be more simplified than in the cities; the Maya use recado, corn or maize for most of their meals, and the Garifuna are fond of seafood, cassava (particularly made into cassava bread or Ereba) and vegetables. The nation abounds with restaurants and fast food establishments selling fairly cheaply. Local fruits are quite common, but raw vegetables from the markets less so. Mealtime is a communion for families and schools and some businesses close at midday for lunch, reopening later in the afternoon.
English is the official language of Belize, a former British colony. Although only 4 percent of the population speaks it as their first language, a majority speak English very well.
Kriol is spoken as the first language of 33 percent of Belizeans. It is an English-based Creole language with words and syntax from various African languages (namely Akan, Igbo, and Twi), Miskito, Spanish and other languages. Belizean Kriol shares similar phonology and pronunciation with other Caribbean English Creoles. Many of its words and structures are lexically and phonologically similar to English, its superstrate language. It is considered by some linguists to be a dialect of English, as the two are mutually intelligible. About 75 to 80 percent of the population speak some Kriol and English.
Belize (; formerly British Honduras) is a constitutional monarchy, and the northernmost Central American nation. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. Belize is bordered to the north by Mexico, south and west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. Belize’s mainland is about 290 kilometers (180 miles) long and 110 kilometers (68 miles) wide.
With 22, 960 square kilometers (8, 867 square miles) of land and a population of only 333, 200 people (2010 est.), Belize possesses the lowest population density in Central America. The country's population growth rate of 2. 21% (2008 est.), however, is the highest in the region and one of the highest in the western hemisphere. Belize's abundance of terrestrial and marine species, and its diversity of ecosystems give it a key place within the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.
Belize is culturally unique among its Central American neighbours; it is the only nation in the region with a British colonial heritage. As a part of the Western Caribbean Zone, however, it also shares a common heritage with the Caribbean portions of other Central American countries. In general, Belize is considered to be a Central American nation with strong ties to both the Caribbean and Latin America. Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA).
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