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.

 

Why You Should Retire in Belize!

Belize Real Estate
 
There are a lot of things to consider once you are planning to retire, and you want to make sure that you’re happy once you do settle down! Here is a great list of reasons to retire in Belize.

 

1. The Economy. The Belize’s economy is extremely stable, and has one of the lowest inflation rates in the world.

 

2. The Language. English is the official language of Belize. This is the only Latin American country where this is true- but it suits Americans well.

 

3. The Distance. Belize is close by- you can get to it in two hours or less from Houston or other points along the coast. This means it will be easy to visit family members when you want to- and many of them will want to come visit you!

 

4. Similar Laws. The laws in Belize are based off that of the British. This makes them very similar to the ones that we are already used to in America. This makes it a very easy transition.

 

5. Real Estate. The real estate in Belize is very affordable compared to the real estate in America.

 

6. Taxes. Belize’s government doesn’t tax excessively. Depending on how you earn your income, you could possibly have a zero tax liability as a retired person in this country. Belize has many options, own an International Business Company and hold your foreign assets tax free, or own an International Free Zone company which can hold even your Belize assets with tax holidays for the rest of your retired life.

 

7. The perks.  If you are over 45, you can take full advantage of a retiree program which helps you establish legal residency in Belize, which will allow you to enjoy extra benefits and tax advantages!

 

8. The land. Belize itself is something you don’t want to miss out on. There is a barrier reef that is only second in size to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. With this along with all the other fascinating places to visit, it will be hard to get bored in Belize.

 

9. The feeling of community. Family life and the happiness that comes with it is a huge priority in Belize.

 

10. The Expatriate Community. Belize has been attracting retirees and expatriates for decades.

 

Belize is a beautiful, quirky country that should be on everyone’s bucket list to visit. For those who are of the mind to, they will even get to spend their golden years.

 
 

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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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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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Belize Weather: A Traveler’s Paradise

Belize WeatherPart of the great adventure of travel is experiencing different climates, eco-systems, and geographies. And if you normally reside in an area where you live through harsh winters and four quite distinct seasons, Belize may provide the perfect change for you. It remains hot and humid most of the year, which should be idyllic for many seeking respite from snow and freezing temperatures, with tropical coastal breezes by the shorelines.

The temperature in Belize can sometimes reach as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit, while during the winters it can get as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The interior of the country is warmer owing to the fact that it does not receive off-shore winds, and temperatures can be between 5 and 10 degrees higher there.

Humidity is not terribly variable and stays around 85 percent all the year. This can be an issue for visitors who want to tour the magnificent rainforests where it is much warmer, but if you make sure to bring plenty of water or sports drinks and keep yourself hydrated, you should be fine. Keep in mind that it would be wise to engage in serious activity during the cooler parts of the day and not at the midday hours.

The rainy season in Belize is from June until December, with the most rainfall occurring in late June and early July, and the dry season is from February until May. There may be some rain during the dry season but it is usually just brief showers that are not particularly heavy. Most often, storms come in the form of squalls that bring high winds, rain and a slight drop in temperature for only a few minutes, making way for the sun to return.

Belize is the perfect getaway for vacationers who wish to experience a true tropical environment. It boasts magnificent scenery, stunning ecosystems and ruins, and beautiful beaches. At Belize Shores Realty we’ve found that many visitors fall in love with our beautiful weather, and make it their mission to invest in property or spend their retirement right here in Belize.

 

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What Are The Rules For Visiting Belize?

rules for visiting belizeThinking about visiting Belize?

Whether you’re planning a vacation to explore Belize’s many natural wonders and cultural treasures, or you’re looking to invest in Belize through real estate or a commercial business, you’ll need to make yourself familiar with the country’s immigration policy. While it’s true that Belize is incredibly accessible and hospitable to foreigners, it is still a sovereign country with its own laws that you will need to follow.

Fortunately, Belize’s immigration policy is simple and straightforward. Here’s what you’ll need to know before embarking on your exciting journey.

First of all, guests of Belize must arrive with a passport that will be valid for at least another three months. You must also prove that you possess a ticket for the eventual trip home, as well as enough cash to get through the duration of your stay. This means at least $60 US per day. While only a one-month stay will be granted at first, you may apply for an extension with the Immigration Department if you wish to stay longer. The first 6 months will cost $25 each, and every month after that $50.

Failure to keep your passport up to date and stamped by the Immigration Department will cost you a fine of $500 or more. Regardless, when you leave Belize as a visitor or non-citizen, you’ll be charged an exit fee of $39.25, but this is usually included in US airline fare.

Is a visa required to enter Belize? Not if you’re a citizen of any of the following countries:

  • United States and its territories
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom and its territories
  • European Union
  • Caribbean and Central American Countries

If you’re travelling with little ones, whether they’re human or not, you’ll need proper documentation. For children, that means a birth certificate or passport. If only one parent is present, you’ll also need a notarized signature of authorization from the other. For pets, you’ll need a veterinary certificate as well as an import permit from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority.

Other stipulations exist. For example, if you enter on a cruise ship, you’ll only be charged $7, whether you get off the ship or not. If you’re traveling over land borders, you’ll also pay less, $15 for a stay of less than 24 hours and $18.75 otherwise.

For more information on visiting or investing in Belize, visit BelizeShoresRealty.com. We offer commercial properties and other great opportunities for you to begin exploring 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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Why Retire In Belize?

 

Retiring in Belize

The Belize Retirement Incentives Program helps those with incomes of at least $2,000 make the transition to this tropical paradise quickly and easily. Retirees who take advantage of the program have moving costs taken care of and face an easier process when applying for permanent residency. Welcoming Belizeans have opened the door for others to enjoy their beautiful country. So what compels so many retirees to take them up on the generous offer?

 

First and foremost, retirees are looking to escape from the instability of their home countries. While the political and economic situation in the United States seems to be worsening at a steady rate, Belize prides itself on a solid, mostly privatized economy and commonsense governing. With low interest inflation rates and safe, protective banking laws, Belize is a safe and promising place to invest in. Real estate is affordable and property taxes are very low. Some retirees find themselves with no tax liability at all.

 

An affordable and stable living situation means nothing if it can’t also be enjoyed, though. Retirees will be welcomed by a strong community of fellow retirees and an e thnically diverse population with a worldwide reputation for friendliness and cooperation. While Belize has the lowest population density in the region, it has the second highest growth rate. Perhaps the beautiful natural landscape of Belize can account for its flood of newcomers. 80% of the land is undeveloped and covered with rivers, rainforests, beaches, and the second largest barrier reef in the Western hemisphere. The temperature floats around a comfortable average of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

One thing retirees aren’t eager to experience in the twilight of their lives, however, is culture shock. They’ll be pleased to learn that English is the official language of Belize, which sets it apart from the other Central American country. It’s laws are based on the traditional British system, and they even drive on the right side of the road! Perhaps most important to the families of retirees is that Belize is only a short plane ride from the United States border.

 

Maybe you’ve always wanted to retire to a foreign country, or maybe you’ve never considered it at all. When you experience beautiful Belize for yourself, you’ll understand why so many retirees are opening themselves up to the wonderful possibility.

 

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Belize Tourism setting records!

This article is reposted from one of our local online newspapers; Ambergris Today

BELIZE TOURISM SETTING RECORDS!

Belize Tourism Statistics 2013: First Quarter Report

Belize Tourism Statistics 2013: First Quarter Report

The year 2013 started out on an all-time high for Belize’s tourism industry, having documented record numbers for the first quarter. The trends in the first quarter of 2013 tourist arrivals are indicative of 2012’s patterns, in which substantial numbers were recorded per month. In fact, the last time there was a decrease in any month for tourist arrivals was October 2011- making it nineteen consecutive months of increases in overnight tourist arrivals to Belize.

Tourism Statistics 2013: First Quarter Report

There was a record high in arrivals by air in January, February and March of 2013, showing a 7.58%, 6.0% and 10.1% increases respectively, compared to 2012. This year’s month of March recorded 28,623 tourist arrivals, which is over 5,200 more than last year’s March total of 25,982. This is the first time in history that arrivals by air exceeded the 28,000 visitor mark for any month. In summary, airport tourist arrivals showed 8.1% growth in this year’s first quarter, in comparison to last year’s.

Tourism Statistics 2013: First Quarter Report

For overnight tourist arrivals, the months of January, February and March recorded increases of 17.2%, 11.6% and 11% respectively. For the first time ever, overnight visitors exceeded 35,000 visitors in March 2013. The previous all-time high was 32,240 visitors in March of the previous year. Overall, the overnight tourist arrivals stats indicate that there was a 13% growth over 2012’s first quarter.

Tourism Statistics 2013: First Quarter Report

Despite dismal cruise arrivals last year, 2013’s first quarter showed notable increases. There was a 19.4% increase in arrivals in January, and an 11.4% increase in arrivals in February, compared to last year’s stats. In addition, March saw a modest increase of 1.4% over the previous year, all of which resulted in a total of 10.9% increase in cruise arrivals in the first three months of this year.

For more information, please contact the Belize Tourism Board at 227-2420.

This is nothing short of astounding and lends even more credibility to Belize being a primary commercial investment location. Contact us about all the wonderful properties and businesses that are available today.

 

Why Belize?

From me, Paul, Broker at Belize Shores Realty, I wanted to publish my personal reasons for relocating with my wife and partner to Belize:

My wife and I are children of the 50s and 60s. We grew up in an America that was proud and living there made you feel like you were in the best place in the world at the best time in history. 

Then something happened in the early 70s. Whether I just matured and started realizing that the current events during our childhood was a stage show playing out to a devastating and surprising end, or  whether there was some single event that was to change the future, I’m really not sure, BUT I do know that the America that we grew up in is not the same.

My first jobs were with companies like Collins Radio/Rockwell, Fisher Controls/Monsanto, John Deere Tractor and on. I saw people no longer willing to stay loyal to any one employer because the employers were losing interest in taking care of their employees as they had since the industrial revolution and unionization. All of a sudden I felt an urgency to take care of my family in a more personal or self-sustaining manner and started moving around the country. While doing so we ended up in California where life became more isolated, even though the suburban populace seemed never ending. We went from our isolated homes, to our isolated cars, to our work cubicle, and back home, hardly seeing any neighbors except to wave on bar-b-q weekends! I longed for a better life even though my financial life was just fine, I didn’t feel at home.

Many years later, after our two children had gone on their own, I discovered Central America. Life was back to the 50s and 60s again. Your neighbor was just that, neighborly. People waived on the streets EVERY MORNING! Hellos or Buenos Dias came from nearly every mouth you met. I was back home again!

Belize is an oasis in Central America for most of us Expats from the US that refused to learn a foreign language. Come and visit San Pedro just once and 90% of you will be hooked! You may not have the same desire to leave the rat race behind as I did, but you will relax. Your blood pressure will settle, your nerves will calm, and your smile to neighbors and strangers will return.

We investigated Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Belize. We felt comfortable here! Whether it barefooting it around San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, or rubbing elbows with the Garifuna in Hopkins. I don’t think you will find a friendlier place on earth.

Now Tripadvisor has named Ambergris Caye the #1 Island in the World! What a statement! We agree!