How Belize Is Carving Out Inclusive Tourism for World Tourism Day 2021

by Carolee Chanona
grilled lobster copal tree belize life thyme

Highlighting the importance of the travel sector, World Tourism Day is celebrated annually on September 27—carved out by the United Nations to honor one of the world’s most important industries. Now more than ever, the appreciation for travel and tourism is at an all-time high and Belize’s tourism industry (which accounts for over 40% of Belize’s national GDP) has several reasons to get travelers excited. Not only to get back to its shores but also to get travelers back knowing they will be supporting a wave of inclusive growth tourism.

“By celebrating this day, we state our commitment that, as tourism grows, the benefits that come will be felt at every level of our broad and diverse sector, from the biggest airline to the smallest family business,” Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO secretary-general, said in his official message.

From farm-to-table initiatives, solar-powered stays to supporting local fishermen, Belize is blessed with an abundance of lush landscape and produce for the industry to capitalize on naturally and sustainably. Today, we’re celebrating where to support inclusive growth tourism in Belize.


Open for just two months after rebranding before the pandemic hit, Ray Caye is a private island that’s implemented many initiatives with a large focus on wellness and the environment. It’s Belize’s only TESLA solar-powered resort, rather than importing produce has a farm-to-table concept, with an on-site organic farm, a herb, vegetable & fruit garden, and employs local fishermen to serve up a ‘catch of the day’ on their Lionfish Grill restaurant menu.

This tropical eco-retreat draws on Belize’s rich natural resources: endless sun (the resort’s central bank runs on over 600 solar energy) and coral-rich, fish-filled waters (dinner brings red snapper or the invasive lionfish with a side of plantain). If that’s not enough to quiet the mind, falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing against the sea wall will. At the end of the day, venture out to the main dock for sunset-gazing, as dusk turns into deep blue hues and (namesake) spotted Eagle Rays amorously glide past, just below the ocean’s surface.

Header shows a healthy lobster gets grilled up while on tour with Copal Tree Lodge. Image via Life & Thyme

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