Southwest Airlines now flies to Belize!

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES NOW FLIES TO BELIZE!

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Southwest Airlines now flies to Belize!

Tourism in Belize is skyrocketing. September and October are historically the slowest two months of the year for this tiny Central American/Western Caribbean country, but the Belize Tourism Board announced yesterday that September saw a 19.3% increase in over night arrivals in September alone!!!!! As reported by www.ambergristoday.com: September alone saw a 19.3% increase in overnight tourism and the new flight is expected to further increase this number. Travelers to Belize on the airline are excited about the “Southwest Effect”, as James Ashworth, Managing Director of Customer Support and Services at Southwest Airlines describes that when the airline enters a market they bring fares down by approximately 30%, they have no bag fees, no change fees and they provide world-class customer service. It is a great product to a great market.

southwest1As the broker for Belize Shores Realty I can contest to the fact that our inquiries are skyrocketing along with these numbers. It used to be common to receive 1-3 inquiries on Commercial properties per week but for the last few months we have averaged 2-5 inquires per day! Whether the reason for this is that Americans are getting continuously more restless with the government situation or just that Belize is so close and so economical to own property remains to be seen but whatever the reason, it certainly is welcomed!

The arrival of the first Southwest flight is sparking new energy in to all businesses that rely on tourism, real estate included. The biggest single complaint that Belize has received was that it was just expensive to travel. Our historical tourism didn’t equate to low fares like Cancun did, but now, especially after receiving the award for Mexico & Central America’s Leading Destination 2015 is Ambergris Caye Belize deserves to be treated like the tourism and investment hot spot it is!

Check out our commercial properties for sale and see what we have to offer you.

 

Belize Tourism surprises even the officials!

This was just posted last evening by the Belize Tourism Board, showing that in spite of all the world problems people are still setting money aside for a little chunk of paradise:

 

Tourist arrivals are up by 11.8% for the first half of this year! For the past six months, there have been increases across the board in overnight and cruise arrivals. For overnight arrivals, we had a 7.1% increase in June of 2014, over June of 2013, with 28,727 tourist visitors. The forecast was a decrease of -2.24%. There was a 14.6% increase in the 2nd quarter, contributing to an overall increase of 11.8% in overnight tourist arrivals for the first six months of 2014. Once again, March has the highest number of arrivals with 38,712 visitors. April saw the highest increase when compared to 2013, with 23%, or a total of 38,712 arrivals.

Like previous years, March has seen the most arrivals through the Philip Goldson International Airport, having 30,754 arrivals, which is an increase of 7.4% when compared to March, 2013. The month with the highest increase when compared to 2013 was April, which saw an increase of 20.7%; a total of 21,028 arrivals.

For the first half of this year, cruise passenger arrivals are at 527,037 visitors showing an increase of almost 37%. Overall, Belize saw over 142,000 more visitors in 2014, when compared to the first half of 2013. The month of June alone recorded the highest increase with 120.2% more cruise passenger arrivals when compared to June, 2013. March has seen the most arrivals with 115,227 cruise passengers. There have been 57 more cruise ship calls in 2014 than there were in 2013 through the same time period.

The largest market for travelers to Belize continues to be Americans, which has increased by 11.8%; the second largest is the European market, having a 23.2% increase; the third largest is the Canadian market, with a 6.4% increase.

Next Month’s BETEX Event Showcases Belize Tourism

Belize is a relatively small country, only slightly larger than the state of Massachusetts and with a population of around 330,000. One advantage of this is a well-organized tourism community that bolsters Belize’s position as a popular attraction to visitors from all over the world.

At the forefront of the movement is the Belize Tourism Industry Association, or BTIA. The organization lobbies for issues that help its members and the tourism industry as a whole. For example, the BTIA fights for laws and policies that are likely to promote and benefit tourism, a major component of the Belizean economy. Next month, the BTIA will host the bi-annual Belize Tourism Expo, otherwise known as BETEX.

BETEX was started in 1996 as a way for the Belizean tourism industry to market themselves to the international community. It is a major tool of the BTIA in uniting and promoting tourism across the country, now attracting over 300 parties. This year, the Expo will be held right in Belize City from Wednesday, May 7 to Monday, May 12. Participants must register in advance.

As is always the case at BETEX, there are sure to be plenty of representatives from commercial destinations, lodgings, and tour companies, as well as a healthy amount of press attention. The idea is to attract and impress those who make travel decisions, like agents and event planners. The international community can meet and negotiate with the local exhibitors while also learning about our corner of the planet.

For more information on BETEX, or to register for the event, head on over to their website. The event is a fantastic example of the health and vibrancy of Belize’s lucrative tourism industry. 

 

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The Amazing Wildlife of Belize

Belize WildlifeIn Belize, we’re fortunate enough to have the most pristine forest of any country in South America. Over half of the land in Belize is covered by a breathtaking tropical forest, home to thousands of species of plants and animals. According to the BBC, a third of the land in Belize falls under protected status. It’s no surprise that eco-tourism has grown to become one of the most successful industries in the country.

One of the things we love most about being in Belize is the opportunity to witness all kinds of magnificent exotic creatures thriving in their natural habitat. Ground squirrels and white-tailed deer might be all the wildlife some of us can hope to encounter in our day-to-day lives, but in Belize you can expect way more diversity.

Imagine waking up to the call of the black howler monkey, an endangered species found only in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. On any given day, you might be lucky enough to spot a squat, pig-like character with a shy demeanor and a voracious appetite for leaves. Meet the tapir, one of Belize’s most curious mammals.

Every year around September, sea turtles come ashore to nest and lay eggs on the beach. Nesting season is a very special time in Belize, a time when we get to see fresh new life emerge from the sands and boldly set out into the deep ocean. It is a venerated event that annually reminds us how truly precious these ecosystems are.

Keep your species identification guides close at hand! Each time you step out your door in Belize you’ll have the opportunity to see animals you might never have even heard of. We’d love to see you invest in this remarkable global tourism hotspot. For more information on investment opportunities in Belize, contact Belize Shores Realty today.

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Ambergris Caye: Best Island in the World

Ambergris CayeThose who invest in Belize real estate and businesses keep an eye on popular “Best Of” lists that often highlight the beautiful country and display its wonders for the world to see. We’re proud to point out that Ambergris Caye, the most popular island in Belize, has once again put Belize at the top of a prestigious and competitive list. It recently won Trip Advisor’s 2014 Traveler’s Choice Award for Best Island in the World for the second year in a row.

With its turquoise, Caribbean waters and stunning views, there is no doubt visitors will find the caye to be a beautiful place to get away from the stresses of everyday life, to relax and refresh yourself, and to witness the spectacle of some very interesting antiquity.

Whether you are interested in fishing, sky diving (which is particularly popular during the winter months), snorkeling and deep sea diving, walking around San Pedro Town—the only town on the caye—or simply lounging, there is something for everyone on Ambergris Caye. The caye is especially known for its Belize Barrier Reef, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world – second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – and for its pristine, white sandy beaches. There are  also a number of resorts and hotels on Ambergris Caye, some of which may be available for investment right here at Belize Shores Realty.

A community of Maya lived on Ambergris Caye in Pre-Columbian times, and they made highly polished red ceramics, some of which can still be found on the island. The Mayan civilization’s presence in Belize is of particular interest to historians, both professional and amateur, and there are relics to be seen here that will fascinate the most ardent enthusiast.

Ambergris Caye has a lot to offer, and if you can imagine watching a breathtaking sunset over the Caribbean while sipping a glass of wine, you can imagine the special beauty of Ambergris Caye. The people are always friendly and welcoming, there is always something close by to delight your senses.

For more information on Belize and opportunities to invest in the wildly popular tourist destination, visit Belize Shores Realty today.

 

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Romantic Belize: The Perfect Place for Couples and Honeymooners

Belize RomanticWith Valentine’s Day nearing, love is in the air. Of course, those who own property in the most romantic places in the world seize the opportunity to market their locations as ideal romantic getaways. Real estate and hotel owners in Belize have no problem explaining the lovely surroundings. Belize makes it easy!

Picture a pristine, sandy beach running into clear turquoise waters. Imagine beautiful and stunning Mayan ruins and a tropical forest that you can explore – just the two of you. Welcome to Belize, a magnificent journey into ancient times, soft sands, and charming inns nestled in the jungle.

Belize is a magical destination for couples and honeymooners. It boasts magnificent scenery, majestic views, and friendly people. You will be well cared for in Belize.  English is the official language, you can spend American dollars there, and all the services are provided in a very friendly and courteous manner.

And there is nowhere more romantic. Accommodations are often secluded and as private as you want or need them to be. It’s up to you how much socializing you do in Belize. Even though the temperatures can get up in to hundreds, there are cool sea breezes, and plenty of time to stay cool and luxuriate in one of the many beautiful pools attached to the inns, or one of the nearby rivers or the sea.

The dining is first-class as well. According to Lyn and Arthur Dobrin, wrting for About.com, “The beer lover amongst us declared the local brew – a Pilsner – as very good, particularly on tap. The fish lover feasted on shrimp, lobster, grouper and snapper.” And the service is first-rate. Your honeymoon will seem like the most special thing to all the staff, and you will be treated like royalty.

Walks in the jungle, a tour of the ancient and majestic Mayan ruins, and your time in Belize is complete. The gorgeous wildlife – the national bird is the Toucan – and the breathtaking scenery and views, as seen from just about anywhere, are more than romantic. They are sumptuous. And so is Belize. Fine food and drink, welcoming people, a stunning setting. That is Belize, where romance thrives.

If you’re looking for a romantic place to retire to, or to seize the opportunity to capitalize on a wonderful honeymoon vacation spot, contact Belize Shores Realty for commercial Real Estate in Belize.

 

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Explore Maya Ruins in Belize

While Belize is attracting a great deal of modern investment and development, it is also a country rich in ancient history. It’s recognized as part of the southern Maya lowlands, with archaeological sites dating back as many as 4,000 years. Most of these sites were abandoned after the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century.

Belize is also facing a clash between development and historical preservation. Earlier this year, a construction company faced harsh criticism when they destroyed a Maya pyramid to extract rock to build roads.

Belize’s most famous Maya site is Caracol, a 65 square mile, expertly planned site located in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Cerros also stands out as the only Maya site in Belize right on the country’s coast, and Lamanai features a mask of a Maya ruler wearing a crocodile headdress.

Check out the infographic below for more examples of the breathtaking Maya ruins in Belize, major tourist attractions that rival any destination in the world. For information on investing in Belize, visit Belize Shores Realty and get closer to experiencing its rich historical landscape.

 

A Guide to the Maya Temples of Belize

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

 

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Common Myths about Belize Debunked

For those who have invested in Belize real estate and businesses, the little country is one of the best-kept secrets of the world. Upon returning to the U.S. mainland, it can be amazing to hear the impressions that some folks have of Belize. So to clear up some of the common misconceptions, here are a few things that many people are wrong about.

 

1. You’ll have to learn Spanish.

Many people believe that, even though Belize is an officially English speaking country, they’ll need to learn Spanish in order to get along with the native population. This is actually the opposite of the truth. In fact, Belizean children are typically taught English in school. Spanish speakers coming from neighboring countries usually end up learning English to fit in rather than the other way around.

 

2. Belize is a Caribbean island.

Take a look at a map! When you mention Belize to friends who have never been to the region, many will undoubtedly state the belief that it’s located in the Caribbean. Of course, anyone remotely familiar with the geography of Belize knows that it’s a part of the Central American mainland. There are, however, a great deal of Belizean islands off the coast of the country.

 

3. Belize has bad infrastructure.

Many people somehow have the impression that living in Belize is like returning to the Stone Age. This is absolutely not true. While there are occasional power outages, authorities usually fix problems very quickly. The power grid is laid out the same way as the United States, so you won’t need to bring adaptors for all of your devices. Even though internet is a bit overpriced, it’s quite reliable, and cellular phone service is solid and improving as well.

 

4. It’s always scorching hot in Belize.

For those who don’t handle the extreme heat well, moving so far south can sound like a nightmare. And while others might actually be disappointed to hear this, the weather is actually cooler than you might think. Average temperatures range from about 75 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. It even drops into the 60s on winter nights, but not so much that you’ll ever be nearly as cold as you were back home.

 

The only way to get a 100% accurate impression of what Belize is actually like is to visit. Now is the perfect time to explore investment opportunities in Belize at Belize Shores Realty today.

 

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Buying a Hotel in Belize

Buying a Hotel in BelizeIt’s understandable to be nervous about investing in a foreign place. Spending the majority of your life in one country allows you to grow comfortable, taking laws and economic factors for granted. However, if you pay a visit to Belize, you’ll quickly realize that it’s much different from other foreign countries. You’ll find that it’s an ideal place for investment, whether you’re looking at purchasing a comfy waterfront retreat or a luxury hotel.

 

Perhaps the best sign when it comes to foreign investment in Belize is that the country places no restrictions on non-citizens who own property. The policy can be likened to a big sign that says “Belize is open for business”. You won’t be put at an automatic disadvantage to the hotel across the street, and you’ll be able to keep rates competitive with more established businesses. In addition, Belize property taxes are remarkably low, and they don’t have any capital gains tax at all. When operating a hotel in Belize, you won’t be punished by the government for the work and capital you put in to help it grow.

 

Another attractive feature of the economic climate in Belize is just how easy it is to do business in the country. In some cases, making a foreign investment requires learning an entirely new system of laws. Even worse are horror stories of a business failing due to a regulation that went unnoticed or was conveniently omitted during a business deal.

 

In Belize, the laws are modeled on England’s, meaning you’re already familiar with the basic concepts. Even better is the fact that English is the official language. You won’t need to put your trust and money into translators, and you’ll save a great deal of time by working with contracts that you can actually read. You can make more fluid business deals by keeping in constant contact with associates who share your native language.

 

In addition to speaking your language, the people of Belize are also typically very welcoming of foreigners. If you wish, it shouldn’t be hard to immerse yourself in the community and build trust with your neighbors. After all, the success of Belize is a mutual interest among all residents. Belize is a country that welcomes Americans into a friendly business atmosphere.

 

Buying a hotel in Belize also offers a guarantee of stability, as the government functions well, placing emphasis on rights to private property. The country boasts an impressive communications network and an efficient postal service. On top of it all, Belizean currency is fixed, 2-to-1, to the American dollar, saving you from sudden fluctuations in value.

 

The benefits of buying property in Belize are clear. Visit Belize Shores Realty for more investment information, and to browse listings today.

 

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Five Amazing Places to Visit in Belize

Amazing Places in BelizeIt’s not just the beautiful tropical weather and ease of doing business in Belize that’s attracting investment in the tourism industry. One of a kind features in the natural landscape, historically significant remnants of the ancient Mayan civilization, and attractive island cultural features of Belize all make for some can’t-miss landmarks for the adventurous vacationer. Here are five places to put on your list when visiting or looking to invest in the world treasure of Belize.

 

Caracol

Belize was once part of the southern Maya lowlands, and Caracol was a major political center of this area. Located near the Guatemalan border, Caracol includes thousands of archeological structures, including Mesoamerican pyramids. Caracol once housed twice as many people as the modern Belize City does today.

 

Belize Barrier Reef

The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest coral reef system in the world. While it is a popular spot for diving or snorkeling, 90% of the Belize Barrier Reef is unexplored. This, along with the incredible biodiversity of the reef, makes it a focus of scientific rese arch and environmental protection.

 

Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker is a small island made of limestone coral, about 20 miles away from Belize City. While the island is only accessible by boat or plane, its popularity with tourists, starting with groups of hippies in the 1960s and 70s, has led to the creation of small-scale dining, shopping and lodging options.

 

Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye is another island in Belize, although it’s much larger than Caye Caulker. Traditionally a trading hub for the country, it is now one of the hottest tourist destinations in the region and a popular place for investment. San Pedro is the only town on Ambergris Caye, serving as a popular launching point for diving trips at the Belize Barrier Reef.

 

Great Blue Hole

While the Great Blue Hole is part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef, it deserves its own mention as a wonderful scuba diving and snorkeling location. Visitors to the 125 meter-deep, circular sinkhole will witness with their own eyes what the Discovery Channel called the first “most amazing place on Earth”. 

 

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