Wednesday, May 9, 2012

An Introduction to Real Estate Development and Tourism

this lens' photo
Real estate development is a fairly new industry in Belize. The first significant real estate development project was a vision cast for the Island of Ambergris Caye, a former Maya fisherman's village. San Pedro, the largest settlement on Ambergris Caye, began urbanizing in 1970 and grew into a thriving mixed-use resort community where real estate demand grew from the tourism demand generated through the nearby attractions such as the scuba diving and snorkeling on the barrier reef, visits to the numerous archeological sites, eco-tourism and sun drenched beaches. Today, Ambergris Caye enjoys the most tourist arrivals followed by Placencia to the south.

Placencia, located in the Stann Creek District of Belize, was named "Pleasant Point" by Spanish explorers who were taken by the natural beauty of this stunning peninsula and its grand lagoons. Placencia, once a rural fisherman's village, was put on the map after the legendary film maker, Francis Ford Coppola, completed Turtle Inn--a luxury 18 room eco lodge--and a municipal airport in 1983. Coppola was so taken by Belize and its environment that he built Blancaneaux, a former hunting lodge that he converted into a second luxury eco-hotel in the Maya mountains near San Ignacio. The notoriety of these two luxury lifestyle hotels immediately attracted the rich and famous to Belize as a cool, off-the-radar place to enjoy natural beauty and privacy away from the masses and over-built destinations. As Belize tourism began to receive favorable press in magazines and travel journals, both the affluent and the bargain travelers took notice and began frequenting the country, thereby creating demand for hotels, vacation villa rentals and finally, second homes and primary residences for those fortunate enough to make Belize their home.

- Geoffrey de Sibert

Photo credit: Copyright 2009. All rights reserved by Brandon Seils.

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