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News: Independence and opportunity in Barbados

Wed, 28 Nov 07

November is quite possibly the best month to visit the stunning island nation of Barbados for two very specific reasons...

Firstly, this Caribbean gem which is bathed in year round sunshine and blessed with a fabulous tropical landscape and inimitably beautiful climate actually sees the end of its brief but refreshing rainy season at the start of the month – and secondly, Barbados celebrates its independence at the end of November.

Barbados achieved independence from the United Kingdom over 40 years ago - and whilst the 30th of the month is officially Independence Day, Barbadians who are famed for their convivial ways use the event as a welcome excuse to feast, celebrate, party and commemorate this important moment in their nation's history throughout the month of November!

Of course, Barbados wasn't always the luxurious holiday destination that it is today...

When Barbados sought independence back in 1966 the island was heavily dependent on its sugar industry for economic stability – but even back then the newly formed, astute government knew that the nation's natural attributes, its friendly and welcoming people and its fabulous locational advantages were far more marketable than sugar and molasses could ever be – and how right they were!

Building its reputation

Slowly but surely Barbados became far better known for its tourism delights, and it is a nation that has been steadily and successfully building on its reputation as an exotic and alluring destination ever since - so much so that 'travel and tourism' as an economic sector in Barbados ranks the nation at number 10 in the whole world in terms of its relative contribution to the national economy.

In addition, the World Travel and Tourism Council have Barbados ranking well above the global average in terms of predicted tourism growth rates for at least the next decade. The Council's latest findings for 2007 show that the direct and indirect impact of travel and tourism on the nation's economy this year will account for 43.4% of GDP and 49.6% of employment, and that the government's current successful initiatives to expand this particular economic sector will likely see travel and tourism growth rates averaging at least 4.1% per annum between now and 2017.

Therefore it's clear that the pecuniary successes of the nation are intrinsically linked to its tourism and real estate based economic sectors - and the government and people of Barbados could not be more aware of this which is why the nation has embarked upon a structured plan to annually bring new and exciting events such as sport specific activities to the nation. And it is this structured planning and resultant economic successes that are spelling 'opportunity and potential' for greater numbers of property investors...

In 2006 for example, Barbados was host to the World Golf Championships World Cup, this year it was a host nation for the Cricket World Cup, and going forward not only will the nation attract the best sporting events but it has plans in place to increase foreign direct investment, reduce unemployment rates, more widely promote its tourism delights and attract and retain a greater expatriate community to its shores.

Investors excited

Naturally all of this has property investors' interest piqued - if their interest had not heretofore been excited by the fact that Barbados is already a favourite on the international cruise line circuit, it is famous for its celebrity holidaymakers and second home owners like David and Victoria Beckham, Hugh Grant, Simon Cowell, Michael Winner, Richard E. Grant, Lulu and Andrew Lloyd Webber it is well established as an international financial centre and it can produce rental yields of over 30% and annually return capital growth rates of at least 15%!

But until today it was only the seriously wealthy investor who could actually access the rental yield and capital appreciation potential that the nation's real estate industry has been delivering year in year out thanks to its tourism based economic expansion.

Thankfully for the average investor, now this tiny and ambitious nation is going for a new goal - it is opening up its real estate market to a broader base of investor and second homeowner by launching more affordable entry points to the luxurious property market that previously most of us could only dream of experiencing. For more information contact Experience International on 0203 102 5030 or visit their website http://www.experience-international.co.uk

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