Denis Foynes- Skyscanner has released the results on an intensive survey designed to locate the countries where the people are the rudest towards tourists. Skyscanner claims to be Europe’s leading travel search site, operating in over 25 languages with over 25 million visits and over 11 million unique visitors per month. It has offices in Scotland and Singapore. Some of the seeming rudeness may be attributable to cultural differences rather than anything deliberate. For example, says Tatiana Danilova, Skyscanner’s Russian Market Manager, “the Russian language is not as polite as English, so when Russians translate directly from Russian to English, … Continue reading The World’s Rudest Nations For Tourists
One of my favorite places on earth will be getting a lot of positive attention starting later this month when “Survivor” begins filming its 21st season in and around San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Then, for 14 weeks this fall, some 13 million U.S. households will tune in to CBS every Wednesday night to watch 20 Survivorists tromp around the Nicaraguan jungles.
This is a big deal for a little country like Nicaragua. I’ve seen the effects of this kind of thing in the past. When “Temptation Island,” for example, aired its Isla Bonita season filmed on Ambergris Caye, Belize, suddenly, overnight, this outpost of divers and fishermen was a household name.
The Temptation Island Effect created a new and higher-end (US$1 million-plus) market on this formerly unnoticed Caribbean island, the vestiges of which I viewed recently. All along Ambergris’ white-sand coast today are condo developments built to supply the Temptation Island viewers who, having been introduced to this island paradise in prime time, wanted to claim a little piece of it for themselves. How cool it became to be able to say, “I’m going down to spend a week on the beach at my place on Ambergris Caye…you know, the island off Belize where ‘Temptation Island’ was filmed…”
Continue reading “The Survivor Effect–It Couldn’t Happen To A More Deserving Spot”
The rental market in Paris has shifted. Last year, when the euro was strong, tourism was down. The short-term rental market suffered.
Today, the Greenback has about 20% more buying power in this part of the world than it did a year ago. Tourism is up sharply, and short-term rentals are back in demand.
Meantime, thanks to la crise, as the French refer to it, many apartment owners in this city have been struggling. With fewer tourists on the scene over the past 18 months or so, landlords did what they could to attract long-term tenants. Business people flow steadily through this city, often with their families in tow during their 3-, 6-, or 12-month placements. More apartment owners fighting to attract a piece of this executive rental pool has translated into falling pricing. Mid- and long-term rental rates are down and more competitive than they’ve been in a long time.
Continue reading “How To Maximize Your Returns In One Of The World’s Most Solid Rental Yield Markets”
“Last evening,” writes France Correspondent Lucy Culpepper, “we sat in the spring sunshine on the main square in Cessenon-sur-Orb watching the swallows dipping and diving over the roof tiles. “As the family relaxed, I took a look in the window of the local real estate agent’s office. He has some interesting small ‘vacation’ homes on the market. If you are contemplating France as a second or even third home, these could be of interest. “For example, I saw a listing for an 80-square-meter village* stone house with a wonderful view toward the river and the mountains of the Haut Languedoc, … Continue reading Your Second Home In France (Could Cost As Little As 45,000 Euro)
“I’m over in the Languedoc region of the ‘other’ south of France,” writes Correspondent from that country Lucy Culpepper. “As we drove from the Béarn in the Pyrenees Atlantic department on the west coast of France to the Languedoc department on the east, following the line of the Pyrenees Mountains, I was particularly struck, this springtime, by the contrast of the two regions. The early maize is starting to poke through the dark chocolate-colored Atlantic Pyrenees soils; it is verdant and abundantly green with every type of deciduous tree coming into leaf. “As we drove east, the soils gradually changed … Continue reading The Languedoc Versus The Béarn–Contrasting The Glories Of French Country Springtime
How much will it cost you to live in the overseas Shangri-la that’s calling your name? The bulk of any budget is given over to housing–rent or a mortgage, if you have one–so start here. Are you going to rent or to buy? I strongly recommend that you rent at least at first, for 6 to 12 months, to give yourself a chance to try the place on for size before committing. However, if you do eventually decide to invest in a home of your own, recognize that property ownership comes with carrying costs. As a home-owner, you’ll have maintenance … Continue reading Brass Tacks–How To Budget Your New Life Overseas
A developer friend is launching a new project in Belize. I’ve written about early-in investment opportunities with this project once before, when the developer, Phil Hahn, made his initial Founder’s Guild package offer earlier this year. Phil sold the three packages he had available within 24 hours of my alert. That’s how compelling the offer was. What Phil has put together for this next round of early-in opportunity is no less interesting. These additional Founder’s Guild packages that Phil is making available now come with the potential to return 24% annualized over three years. Before I go into further details … Continue reading This Eco-Investment Doubles Your Money, At Least,
Croatia is my other top pick (alongside France) for spending time in Europe. This is a country of impossibly beautiful blue-green waters that, unfortunately, is better known for its tumultuous history. The fighting, though, in this part of the world is nearly two decades in the past, and the cultured, educated people of Croatia have been working hard ever since to rebuild their 1,000-year-old country. Croatia has captured my imagination since my first visit nearly 10 years ago. The entire family, in fact, was so taken with the beauty, the history, the culture, and the lifestyle of this country that, … Continue reading Fairy-Tale Living On The Continent (That, Yes, You Can Afford)
Panama is an extreme example of why thin-slicing your live and retire overseas options is important. First, there’s Panama City, which isn’t one good choice but at least a half-dozen, including El Cangrejo, Paitilla, Costa del Este, the banking center, and Casco Viejo. These are markedly different options for city living. El Cangrejo is up-and-coming trendy…the banking center is the most convenient, center-of-everything option and home to the city’s best (and most expensive) addresses. Casco Viejo is the most historic and interesting section of this city. At least that’s my opinion. A friend, on the other hand, refers to Casco … Continue reading Panama Sliced Thin
Clear turquoise waters lapping gently against soft white sand. Palm trees rustling in the warm breeze. Fishing boats bobbing on the horizon. Birdsong and island tunes all around… Ambergris Caye, Belize, is unadulterated, unpretentious Caribbean…the sea, sand, and sunshine of the Caymans or the Virgin Islands without the price tag. San Pedro town, a former fishing village, is the center of activity and home to a growing expatriate community of North Americans and Europeans catered to now by dozens of restaurants, shops, art galleries, and community organizations. You could settle in here quickly and easily, as the language (like everywhere … Continue reading Good Wine, Grand Adventure, And A 18.97% Annual Yield
Property developers I consult with have been contacting me over the past few months to ask for help creating financing offers for their respective development projects intended to make the buy decision easier in this age of tight credit. I’ve worked with at least a half-dozen developers to conceive financing packages that have, in every case, yielded very positive outcomes, for both the developers and the buyers. It’s time to take my own advice. After discussing the particulars with my partners, David Stubbs and Robert Kroesen, I’m writing today, therefore, to alert you to the opportunity now to buy at … Continue reading Zero Interest Financing To Own On Panama’s Most Beautiful Beach
Back in the office in Panama City after a week in the Big Apple, I’m struggling to catch up with everything that’s new since I’ve been away… First, tomorrow is the final day for the Early Bird Discount for our Live & Invest in Belize Conference, scheduled for June 21-23 in Belize City. Starting Saturday, May 1, the price of registration increases US$200 per person. If your name is on the Pre-registration List for this event, you’re due an additional special discount of US$100 per person. Combine this with the Early Bird Discount and save a total of US$300 per … Continue reading Nevis Vs. Caymans Vs. BVI Vs. Hong Kong Vs. Panama –The World’s Premier Offshore Havens Compared