Belize Overview

GENERAL

Capital

Belmopan.

Geography

As a country located in North America according to thesciencetutor, Belize is located in the south of the Yucat√°n Peninsula and borders Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and the Gulf of Honduras to the east. The coastal area is flat and swampy, with numerous islands (cayes) in front of the coast. In the north there are mangrove swamps, salt and fresh water lagoons, sandy beaches and rivers. The densely forested Maya Mountains rise to the west and south, the Cockscomb Mountains (“Hahnenkamm”) to the east and the Mountain Pine Ridge to the west. 65% of the country is forested. The Cayes are elevations of the second largest coral reef in the world.

Government

Parliamentary monarchy (in the Commonwealth) since 1981. Constitution of 1981. Bicameral parliament: Senate (8 appointed members) and House of Representatives (29 elected members). Independent since 1981 (former British colony).

Head of state

Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor General Colville Norbert Young (since 1993).

Head of government

Dean Barrow, since February 2008.

Electricity

110 V, 60 Hz.

Time zone

Central Standard Time: CET -7

Belize Overview

ECONOMY

Business etiquette

Local business people tend to dress casually, suits and ties are rare. Appointments are recommended, business cards are common. October through March is the best time to travel on business.

Business hours:
Mon-Thu 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Fri 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-4.30 p.m.

Economy

Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland
c / o DPS Communications, Gessnerallee 28, CH-8001 Zurich
Tel: (044) 699 54 47.
Internet: www.latcam.ch

Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
4792 Coney Drive, First Floor of Withfield Tower, BZ-Belize City
Tel: (0223) 53 30, 53 31.
Internet: www.belize.org

Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE)
14 Orchid Gardens Street, Belmopan, BZ-Belize
Tel: (08) 22 37 37.
Internet: www.belizeinvest.org.bz

Business contacts

Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland
c / o DPS Communications, Gessnerallee 28, CH-8001 Zurich
Tel: (044) 699 54 47.
Internet: www.latcam.ch

Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
4792 Coney Drive, First Floor of Withfield Tower, BZ-Belize City
Tel: (0223) 53 30, 53 31.
Internet: www.belize.org

Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE)
14 Orchid Gardens Street, Belmopan, BZ-Belize
Tel: (08) 22 37 37.
Internet: www.belizeinvest.org.bz

COMMUNICATION

Phone

International direct dialing. The national telephone company is Belize Telecommunications Limited (Internet: www.btl.net). BTL offices are on the corner of Albert and Church streets in Belize City and on the corner of Princess Margaret Drive and St. Thomas streets. Phone cards are available in numerous locations.

Cellphone

In all six districts there are reception / transmission options for mobile communications. Belize Telecommunications Ltd (BTL) offers a GSM 1900 network. Cell phones can also be rented from Belize Telecommunications Ltd, including at Phillip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). An open GSM (Global System Mobile Communication) 1900 MHz mobile phone is required in order to be able to use your own telephone in Belize. Mobile phones can be activated in a BTL or Digicell branch. Prepaid cards can be bought in many stores across the country.

Internet

Internet service providers include BTL (Internet: www.btl.net) and Belize Web (Internet: www.belizeweb.com). There is an email service center in the BTL office in Belize City and internet cafes in city centers and tourist areas.

Post Office

Airmail to Europe takes about a week.

Radio

Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: www.dw-world.de) to request.

SHOP

Overview

Handicrafts such as wood carvings and straw goods are typical of Belize. So-called “in-bond” shops offer watches, perfumes and other duty-free items. Shop opening times: Mon-Sat 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-4.30 p.m. and 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

NIGHTLIFE

Introduction

Dance nights are held at the Bellevue Hotel in Belize City. In the Fort George Bar you can listen to subtle music and enjoy the view of the harbor. There are numerous nightclubs and discos that often feature local bands.

CULINARY

ACCOMMODATION

Hotels

There are few high-quality hotels in Belize, but smaller hotels are good and inexpensive. In the interior there are mountain hotels. Good accommodation is also available on the coast. Most of the hotels are affiliated with the Belize Hotel Association. A list is available from the Belize Tourist Board (see addresses). Information is also available from the Belize Tourism Industry Association (see addresses).

Categories:
There are three categories, price and standard are decisive for the classification. Bookings and hotel prices should be confirmed in advance.
1st class: All hotel rooms with bath or shower and air conditioning. Restaurant and bar in the hotel.
Middle class: All hotel rooms with bath or shower and air conditioning.
Tourist class: almost all rooms with bath or shower.
The hotels on the Cayes have similar categories.

Camping

In the districts of Belize, Cayo and Corazal there are cheap campsites, in the Toledo district there is a slightly more expensive campground. Caravan sites are available in Corazal Town and outside of San Ignacio. Camping is prohibited on the beaches. There are also private campsites on the beach on Caye Caulker and Tobacco Caye.

CULTURE

Religion

Roman Catholic (50%), Protestant minority (27%), non-denominational (9%) and others (14%).

Social rules of conduct

The British influence is still felt today. Flowers or chocolates are appropriate gifts for hosts for private invitations. Belizeans are generally very hospitable. Casual wear is accepted, swimwear belongs on the beach. Smoking is permitted everywhere. Tip: Service is rarely included in the bill. 10% tip is common. Taxi drivers do not receive tips.

CLIMATE

Best travel time

Subtropical, high humidity; the high temperatures are tempered by Caribbean winds. January to April hot and dry, the rainy season is between June and October.

COUNTRY DATA

Area code +501 Area (sqkm) 22965 Population 347369 Population density (per sqkm) 15 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 911