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BACCL, BTB and Intervistas Meet Key Airline Representatives
SOUTH BEACH BELIZE
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Belize City, Thursday, April 17th, 2008 -- The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Belize Airport Concession Company Limited (BACCL) with the support of Intervistas, convened several meetings last week in the United States with existing and potential new airline service providers, to present a business case for Belize, with the intention of developing new routes and securing lower fares.
The meetings produced very encouraging and productive sessions serving as a springboard to strengthening further discussions with the airlines. Strategies presented were the development and addition of new or increased services to Belize from the USA by carriers currently serving Belize and those that have not yet realized the Belize potential. Similar sessions are being scheduled later in the year with other airlines in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
From April 1st through to April 4th, the traveling delegation met with Continental Airlines in Houston, Texas, with Spirit Airlines in Miramar, Florida, with Jet Blue Airlines in Forest Hills, New York, and with United Airlines in Chicago, Illinois.
“With increased interest in Belize as a premier destination, increased hotel investments, greater tourism promotion, and improved airport facilities at the International Airport, Belize is poised to attract greater airlift from existing & new markets,” commented Director of Tourism, Tracy Panton.
The BTB and BACCL have entered into a three year agreement with Intervistas Consulting Inc., a consulting company based in Ottawa, Canada for an Airline Development Strategy for Belize. This strategy will identify air service deficiencies, provide recommendations for priority routes and formalize the business case for presentation to potential new airline partners.
Intervistas Consulting Inc. was formed in 1999 as an independent employee-owned consulting practice and has developed airline strategies for St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and various cities in the United States and Canada. Martin Copeland has 35 years experience in the aviation industry including 20 years in senior management positions with two international airlines where he specialized in route planning, code sharing alliances, marketing and airfare analysis.
The traveling delegation included Mr. Martin Copeland of Intervistas Consulting, Mr. Enrique Hoare, Operations Manager and Mr. Lindford Rosado, Financial Controller both of the Belize Airport Concession Company Ltd, Mr. Mike Singh, CEO in the Ministry of Tourism, and Mr. Lloyd Enriquez, Registrar of Hotels of the Belize Tourism Board.
For more information on the developments and events in Belize’s Tourism Industry, please contact the Marketing Department at the Belize Tourism Board at (501)-227-2420, via email: [email protected] or visit our website www.belizetourism.org.
SOUTH BEACH BELIZE on Ambergris Caye is an additional 17 minutes flight via either of two local airlines, or 75 minutes via water taxi. As the crow flies, it is about 29 miles from Belize City to Ambergris Caye. This last leg of your journey is one of the reasons why owning property on Ambergris Caye is not a bad idea, i.e. it is away from the crowds, and increasingly valued by growing numbers of people who want exclusivity and privacy, and are willing to pay for it.
Have you noticed how private island resorts and private island ownership are experiencing global rise in popularity? It does not matter whether the islands are "manufactured" as "The Palms" and "The World" in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, or the natural ones such as the convenient and expensive Florida Keys, Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos (hangout of celebrities), Paradise Island in the Bahamas, Richard Branson's private Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, or actor Leonardo Di Caprio's recent acquisition of 104-acre Blackadore Caye, Belize, just to the west of Ambergris Caye, and which he intends to turn into an eco-friendly resort.
For some textbook examples of island appreciation: The late actor Raymond Burr (TV's Ironside) purchased Naitoumba Island (3.4 square miles), Fiji, for $US16,000 in 1969 and sold it in 1983 for a reported $US3 million, nearly 200 times his original purchase price! Malcolm Forbes of Forbes Magazine purchased Laucala island, Fiji (4.71 square miles) in 1972 for $US450,000 and recently sold to Dietrich Mateschitz, owner of Red Bull for $US10 million.
SOUTH BEACH BELIZE
is approximately 800 acres on the southern end of 25-mile long Ambergris Caye. Archeological evidence indicates it may have been inhabited at one time by 10,000 Maya people, and was important as a mixed fishing and trading center. Today Ambergris Caye has a population of about 8,000 with approximately 7,000 living in San Pedro, just 3.5 miles north of South Beach Belize. It has become internationally known as a salt water sport fishing destination, in addition to diving and snorkeling.
The blue Caribbean Sea, sandy beaches, and waving palms are as beautiful on Ambergris Caye as other Caribbean country destinations that cost two to three times as much. It is also located on the second largest barrier reef system in the world. That is why South Beach Belize on Ambergris Caye might be one of the most intelligent places to buy. The choices are extensive: Lots for any size Villa you want to build (hold for investment until ready to build), Condos starting at $139,900, six models of Villas starting at $199,900 INCLUDING THE LOT, or even a complete turn-key Boutique Hotel (thirty hotels are planned in the style of South Beach Miami) for just under $7 million USD. Please tell your friends, and tell us how we can help you enjoy this very special place of Caribbean tranquility and beauty.
By SHANNON ROXBOROUGH, SPECIAL TO THE RECORD
Date: 04-20-2008, Sunday
Section: REAL ESTATE
Edtion : All Editions
Column: GETTING AWAY
Church of England missionary Charles Frederick Pascoe wrote in 1893 that Belize — then known as British Honduras — was a "remote and isolated place."
More than 100 years later, Belize may still feel far-flung, but it's anything but removed. The once under-the-radar getaway has attracted a lot of attention over the past several years, thanks to the Fox-TV reality series " Temptation Island " and Hollywood film director Francis Ford Coppola's foray into the resort business (he owns the Blancaneaux Lodge, Turtle Inn and La Lancha luxury resorts there). A decade ago, Belize barely registered a blip on the screen; today, it regularly finds its way into the pages of slick travel magazines.
Previously thought of as an off-the-beaten-path destination for eco-tourists, sport fishers, scuba divers and other adventure seekers, this sun-soaked land is now luring its share of mainstreamurists , retirees and growing numbers of second-home buyers, primarily from the Unites States, Canada and Europe .
A two-hour-flight south from Miami , Belize is an English- and Creole-speaking nation in Central America that is rimmed by hundreds of miles of warm, sparkling Caribbean , glorious stretches off white-sand beaches, the world's second-longest barrier reef and swatches of jungle teeming with exotic flowers, birds and wildlife.
"The faraway feel and raw beauty is what sold me," said Victoria Harding, a New York native who divides her time between Belize and Connecticut . "The affordability was a much-welcomed bonus." Last year Harding purchased a three-bedroom, two-bath villa for $150,000 near the town of Consejo , in the Corozal region of northern Belize , known for its Mayan history. The property has breathtaking views of Chetumal Bay and the southern tip of Mexico 's Yucatan Peninsula .
"I never encounter crowds. Sometimes, it feels as though I have the whole country to myself," says Harding, alluding to Belize 's low population density (a population of 300,000 lives in an area the size of Massachusetts ). "The people are very friendly, and it is not only a great place to visit, but a wonderful place to live."
While idyllic Ambergris Cay, a narrow strip of land off the mainland of Belize , garners much attention and has become an expatriate hot spot, it's not the only "happening" place in the country. Ara Macao Resort & Marina (aramacao.com), a new 600-acre development of several hundred high-end condos and villas priced from the low $400,000s (and a hotel, casino, two nine-hole golf courses and retail stores) is being built in Placencia, a lively seaside resort town in southern Belize about a 3-hour drive from bustling Belize City.
Luxury may be all the rage, but it's not the rule. Deals abound in Belize . While you could easily pay $250,000 to $500,000 for a house or condo in prime tourists areas, the Cayo District, a rain forest region in western Belize, has a number of spacious homes for sale in the $75,000 to $150,000 range, and rentals go for as little as $200 a month. Tropic Real Estate (realestatebelize.com) lists several large waterfront lots with price tags between $50,000 and $110,000, a mere fraction of the cost of comparable properties in the United States .
"Considering what's going on with the American economy, home buyers have to stretch their dollars as far as possible," said Harding. " Belize is the kind of place you can do that. Plus, it's only a hop, skip and a jump away."
All the water, reefs, sandbars, rocks, lagoons and islets one would expect in the Caribbean . An affordable cost of living (half that of the U.S. ). English is the official language. U.S. dollars are widely accepted. No restrictions on foreign ownership of property. The Belizean government's Qualified Retired Persons Incentive Program (belizeretirement.org).
Relatively high incidences of burglary and petty theft. Avoid traveling on rural roads at night (they become stamping grounds for bandits and other criminals). Advanced medical care infrastructure is limited.
June through September is the rainy season. From November to April, the weather is close to perfect. Located in the Caribbean 's hurricane belt, the storm threat looms each year from June through November.
Even though property prices in Belize continue to rise dramatically along with its popularity, the costs of homes and land are still a bargain compared with Florida and traditional second-home havens.
American and Continental offer round-trip flights from Newark to Belize City (via Miami and Houston) starting at about $550. With the stopover, flights generally take seven to nine hours. Flying into Cancun and taking the bus to Belize is another common route.
Belize Tourism Board's Web site lists accommodations throughout the country for every budget. Visit travelbelize.org.
Caye Caulker (gocayecaulker.com), a small, minimally developed, and laid-back island popular with snorkelers, fishermen and budget travelers.