The time is now to invest in Central America’s golf tourism market
Casa Bay has developed conceptual plans for one of Belize’s most impressive golf resort communities. The 18-hole course, designed by GMA International, a global leader in golf course design, will be the only championship golf course on mainland Belize.
There’s no question the Casa Bay property, once developed, will be a prominent jewel in the crown of Belize’s tourism industry. But are we being overly ambitious planning a luxury golf course in an area where there are so few? Or are we capitalizing on a growing trend that will translate into sizeable returns for a savvy investor?
Golf on the rise in Central America
All signs point to the fact that golf is on the rise in Central America, that golf tourism in Central America is becoming an increasingly lucrative market, and that the championship golf course planned for northern Belize at Consejo will reap the rewards of the growing allure of Central American golf.
Several other luxury courses have opened in recent years in Central America, although none in Belize. The Guancalito Golf Club in Nicaragua, for example, was designed by award-winning golf architect David McLay Kidd, of Bandon Dunes fame, and another major Nicaraguan course at Montecristo Lifestyles Estate is expected to open soon.
On Roatan (Honduras), homes in the Pristine Bay golf community have been achieving annual returns of between 11.6% and 14.1%, and the Arnold Palmer course at the Four Seasons Costa Rica, opened in 2004, is ranked one of the top 100 courses outside of the US.
Golf will be a lucrative market in Central America
Although local golf participation is on the rise, spurred by the launch of the PGA’s Tour Latinoamerica in 2012, it’s golf tourism that’s driving the success of Central America’s most ambitious courses.
The reason behind the growing popularity of Central American golf courses was stated succinctly in the 2012 report “Golf’s 2020 Vision,” prepared by the Futures Company for HSBC:
“The enthusiasm for golf courses as part of a tourism strategy is simply understood: golf tourists travel more and spend more money. Some 20-30% of regular golfers will take a holiday in a given year where golf is the primary motivation, in a way that is simply not true of other sports participants. According to one analysis, the daily spend of golf tourists while on holiday is more than twice as high as that of general leisure tourists.” (Emphasis added.)
Further, the International Association of Golf Tourism Operators suggests that golf tourism can extend a destination’s high season and increase revenue from tourism ancillaries. Golf is proving to be such a lucrative market that even Cuba, which banned the game after its 1959 revolution, has approved the construction of several luxury golf resorts.
Capitalize on Central America’s growing golf market
Want to find out more about how you can get in on the ground floor of Central America’s fast-growing golf tourism market?