Dedicated to providing you with credible information about living overseas
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroad

Questions & Answers

Q & A Menu Q & A BY TOPIC
To navigate, use menu bar to the left
Matthew Hoy of Pelican Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Sky diving in Belize over the Blue Hole – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe economy in Ambergris Caye is quite fruitful at the moment. Tourism is the driving force of the economy here. We just finished getting through what we were told to be slow season but I did not see much of a drop off this year. We saw a lot of people coming in from the southern part of the US, where they usually have very, very hot weather. They come here further south to get out of the heat, to get in the water, or go diving. Typically, September is the slowest month here in Ambergris Caye but for the rest of the year, this island is pretty hopping! 
 
Entrepreneurial, small businesses that cater to the tourism needs or construction needs also contribute to the economy of Ambergris Caye but typically, 75% of all the jobs here are related to tourism.  
 
(Sky diving in Belize over the Blue Hole national park, pictured.)
Lisa McCorkle Guerrero of DIAMANTÉ – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Snow man  hitch-hiking  to Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWhen you have a recession in the US, it’s about 1 to 2 years behind for us on Ambergris Caye because trips are already planned and paid for mostly a year in advance. As a result, what happens in the US affects us on a delayed basis.
 
In the last 3 to 4 years things have really picked up again in Belize in general. We have so many more airlines that are opening flights to Belize.  We have Delta and American, and Southwest starting in October that everyone’s excited about. The economy is doing pretty well.
 
Traditionally, in San Pedro (the largest town on Ambergris Caye), we have our high season and a low season. From November to June is our high season and the summer months are our low season. So whenever it’s starts getting cold in North America, we start getting busy.
 
We don’t have an international airport in Ambergris Caye; we have international airport in the mainland. You can fly to San Pedro with Tropic Air via a 15-minute little jumper plane.
 
Tourism drives the entire economy on Ambergris Caye, from real estate to hotels and restaurants, to bars, to fishing, to diving.
 
(Snowman  hitch-hiking  to Belize, pictured.)
Bob Hamilton of Century 21 Coral Beach Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Off the grid villa, Ambergris Caye, Belize – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe economy in Ambergris Caye is probably one of the better economies in the country of Belize. For every dollar that is spent by a tourist in Belize, 48 cents of it is spent here in Ambergris Caye. Ambergris Caye generates a lot of money for the government and out that money, we get about 1% back.
 
Ambergris Caye is definitely a tourist-based economy. There is diving and fishing here but it is mostly a tourist-based economy. 
 
Ambergris Caye was a small fishing village where 40 years ago, expats started to come and live with the locals. We have a lot of British soldiers here who came here in the 70s and intermarried with some of the beautiful, brown-skinned ladies of Belize. They are grandfathers now.
 
We still have some coconut plantations here but it is predominantly tourism that drives the economy. Tourism is also demanding new hotels, condos, etc. and so construction is one of the major employers here. 
 
If tourism goes down, it will affect us. I was here when the American recession happened and can report that real estate sales were not affected as badly as in the US.   The reason is that most of the sales down here are paid for in cash. The purchasers have a reason for buying here. It’s not just a pure investment; it also includes retirement. We had some properties that went down in value, but most of them, during the recession from 2008 to 2010 just “flatlined.”  They didn’t go up in value and they didn’t go down. People just held on to them and rode it out.
 
(Off the grid villa, Ambergris Caye, Belize, pictured.)
David Drummond of Georgetown Trust – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Barracuda From Barracuda Lagoon – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe economy in Ambergris Caye is relatively vibrant. About 70% of tourists who come into Belize stop through Ambergris Caye.  They may come for diving, or fishing, or whatever other water expeditions that they might endeavor to enjoy. The tourism business here is very active.   The busy season here runs from Thanksgiving through Easter. Then you will see a low, which is actually the better time to come and visit Ambergris Caye because there are not as many tourists.
 
The island’s economy is based on tourism, for the most part. Tourism is the number one contributor to the GDP of Belize. It has changed a little bit but certainly on the island, tourism is the main contributor to the economy.
 
There are other contributors to the economy like construction, which to some degree or another are based on tourism. For example, there are investment opportunities in condo rental projects or properties. People buy condos and use them from 2 weeks to a couple of months a year and for the rest of the year, they put them up for rent.  For the most part, without the tourist market, the rentals wouldn’t be there.
 
Ambergris Caye is split into the north side and the south side. On the south side of the island, there are very few oceanfront properties remaining. The north side of the island runs quite a bit farther. The island is 28 miles long and in every 2 or 3 miles, you will see a community or a development, and that construction continues.
 
There is also a little bit of commercial fishing and there is a cooperative here on the island that is for selling to the local market as well as any other tourists and the restaurant business.
 
Tourism in Ambergris Caye has been relatively steady. In fact, the island has been voted to be the number one island in the world in 2013 and then again in 2014. The level of tourist activity will tend to parallel the economy of North America. Ambergris Caye is a destination for North Americans.  We also have some people coming from Europe and other parts of the world, but mainly it’s Americans and Canadians.
 
Right now, the US dollar is on a strong run so the Canadian dollar and the other dollar currencies associated with it are taking a little bit of a beating. As a result, we have a little bit of a dip from the Canadian contingency. But for the most part, the Canadians are still coming and the tourism demand from Canada is still pretty strong.
 
(Fishing for barracuda in Ambergris Caye, pictured.)
Kate Corrigan  of Georgetown Trust – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Ambergris Caye parasailing – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe economy in Belize is good. I live here on Ambergris Caye, which is just a 12-minute puddle jumper flight from the mainland of Belize. Ambergris Caye has about 25,000 people on it in high season, which it falls between November and the May-June timeframe. The population decreases to 18,000 during slow season.  Ambergris Caye produces the majority of the tourist dollars that go to Belize.
 
Here on the island, property prices are good and everybody has jobs for the most that want an honest day's work, and so the economy here on the island is very good and is consistently so.  We have new investments, tourism, we have the second largest coral reef in the world, so people come from all over the world to come and dive in our reef.  The food is amazing.  We have a good working community, both local and ex-pat, because of our proximity here in Belize to the States, so people can run their businesses from here, or set up a business here to do international work, while being close enough to get to the States, if they need to get back for a meeting. It's very easy to get home.  It's minutes from Ambergris Caye to Belize city, and about two, two and a half hours from there to Miami or Houston.
 
There's good amount of people who go to Belize to do international work. They come here to Belize and are still be able to work internationally very easily.  Some have online companies that they manage from their verandas or balconies here, overlooking the ocean.  As examples of that, we have web designers, we have people who run brokerage firms, etc.
 
Real estate is moving and businesses are surviving. Our tourist season actually gets longer.
 
After six months of being here in Ambergris Caye, I had a restaurant. I found that the tourist season lasted about five months and within those five months, it went slightly higher and slightly lower as the months went on. Therefore, you really had to make money within those five months. Now, the tourist season is expanding as more and more people come here. People come here and they are spending money. Real estate is turning over and new businesses are opening. The economy is working well for Belize as a whole and especially here on Ambergris Caye. 

Go Here Next

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Our Pledge To You

Best Places will present information from the Community in a transparent way, unedited, except to conform with our Conditions of Use.

You can trust that Best Places does not manipulate content to sell you anything. All opinions in the Community Q & A and Expat Stories are those of its authors, not Best Places.

Get Known To The Community

Those who contribute to the Best Places Community are our heroes! And being a Best Places hero is fast, fun, and easy. Just go to Questions & Answers, find your first question to answer, click on it, and then click the Contribute Your Answer To This Question Button. If you’d rather enter a Story, go to Expat Stories and click the Contribute Your Story Button".

Contact/Support

Please contact us. We would love to hear from you! Customer Service
Technical Support
Business Development
Suggestions
Press
Phone: (US) 520-940-0481