Investors eye Venezuelan ‘paradise’

A small island in Venezuela is emerging as a major tourism and investment hotspot…

Lying off the northern shore and forming part of the Republic of Venezuela, Isla Margarita is gaining international recognition amongst investors and tourists.

The economy of Isla Margarita is intrinsically linked to the overall economy in Venezuela, and the good news is that the nation as a whole is seeing its economy go from strength to strength on the back of the oil reserves that the country has in abundance.

Few people are aware that as one of the top 10 oil producing nations in the world, Venezuela’s fiscal strengths are increasing continually as oil prices rise – and at the same time, the intelligent government is working hard to lessen the nation’s overall reliance and dependence on just oil for the longer term.

In much the same way as Dubai has already done for example, Venezuela is optimising its oil revenues by putting oil generated income back into the development of other economic sectors for the long-term stability of the economy in the country.

An unrivalled location?

One of the main areas witnessing significant and increasing investment is tourism, and as one of the nation’s most treasured and desirable destinations, Isla Margarita is receiving a great deal of this investment.

Venezuela’s Vice Minister of Tourism recently commented: “Our goal is to position Venezuela as a sustainable tourism product…Nueva Esparta State [of which Isla Margarita is the most significant island] is very important for our strategic plan given that it has a geographic location popular around the world, i.e., the Caribbean.”

And according to the latest figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council, the investment the Venezuelan government is ploughing into the development of a sustainable tourism sector is paying off to the tune of an average annual increase in already strong tourism numbers of 11.7% this year, rising to 13% in 2009.

For an investor looking at a market where there is already an incredibly strong, oil rich and proven economy and yet where there are emerging economic sectors of equal potential, Isla Margarita is quite possibly unrivalled.

Hot property prospect

Mark Andrew, the Sales Director of international real estate agency Emerging Earth and an expert on the Isla Margarita real estate market, observed: “Savvy property investors are enjoying the exciting opportunity that is emerging on Isla Margarita.

“This is an affordable, accessible Caribbean destination that lies outside the hurricane zone and which is protected and enhanced economically speaking by an incredibly wealthy financial backer, namely one of the world’s top ten oil producing nations, Venezuela.

“As big business comes in and develops resorts and promotes the appeal of the destination globally, the upside pressure on demand for real estate for sale is beginning to be felt acutely. Isla Margarita is a hot property prospect and increasing numbers of international investors recognise this.”