New kid in the neighborhood

Hello to everyone 🌹
My name is Anastasia, I'm Greek,58, divorced, no kids,cats ,dogs. I'm planning to relocate to Belize and start a new life and business there.
During the last three months,I did a lot of research on the internet about the country but I still have a lot of questions.
I really need your help guys!
The first and most important thing I would like to ask you is about my idea of opening a retail store for summer clothes and high quality souvenirs,in or very close to the Tourism Village. What do you think? Is it a good idea? Is it possible to find space and at what price? Do you have any information about the two new  cruise terminals to be built?
Thank you so much in advance for your support
Anastasia

Lots of ideas about the business that the cruises bring well in truth it is not that much the ships have their own high end souvenir  shops on board and they actively discourage passengers buying things during the few hours they are not on board. Outside of the tourism Village the main clientele will not be all that well heeled.
I suggest you need to continue your research within Belize the  actual country.
Belize city is not a very  'Nice' city, and not a tourist area.
Visit Belize and explore the areas that possibly could support the type of business you wish to start, The tourist areas are mainly the Cayes,  Placencea, and Hopkins to a growing extent, these are beach areas. The Jungle tourist areas are out west in the Cayo district, and there are more residential areas further North toward Orange walk and Coroazal.
Research on Paper for a life change of this proportion is not ever going to explain Belize Which has about 4 weeks max  of winter so the majority of clothes are summer clothes. The whole country has the total population of a smaller city in the US, The average Belize family  income is well below $1000 per month The Expat population is scattered all around the country and the majority are retired on fixed incomes.  The figures extolling the numbers of tourists from Cruise liners sound like lots of  great opportunities,  but it  has yet to create many  profitable  businesses outside of those  run by the cruiselines.     I am really not trying to rain on your parade but without being in Belize all the research in the world will not make it real.

I totally agree with you Terrific. Research on the web can't be compared with an on the spot investigation. But my problem is that I'm living in Greece, so it's not easy for me to come and go to Belize. The trip is too expensive and long! That's why I'm trying to do as much as I can from here. I'm planning to be there by the end of March. Till then I'm trying to gather as much information as I can. Any advice,idea or information you give me,is really valuable and very much appreciated.
Best Regards
Anastasia

I wonder why you are stuck on Belize, Anastasia, to do any business in that country? Terrific is right; not enough clients for any expat business to thrive. Why don't you look into the Costa Maya of Yucatan, Mexico, known as the Riviera Maya...just north across the border from Belize. I would recommend either Mahahual, or any place north of there: Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, etc. What is not well known is that this area in Mexico is way cheaper to live than Belize, and also more sophisticated in its taste for purchasable goods. I did this progression, starting from Belize, to Chetumal, MX, then moved further up the coast to Playa del Carmen, where I was able to sell my European design items to a more sophisticated clientele than that of Belize. Don't worry about the language problem with English. Playa del Carmen is very international and it's worth learning just the basic Spanish language to get around and do shopping. The expats there are from all countries and English is the common language shared between them. I am European (French/English) and Belize was a disaster for me!

Of all the businesses I thought and planned to start here- now i'm sure it won't be a success, because people do not buy. Maybe 10% of the population, be it any secto-
hospitality, services, tourism. Chinese stores are a little successful as they bring very cheap manufacturing goods, and when they sell it - twice the cost.

Lived in India for 20 years, and came from another side of the world, not an easy journey.

Thank you very much for your post Starling. To be honest,the country of my choice would be Panama,but I can't own a retail business as a foreigner there. I'm also checking Costa Rica. Not thrilled either!
The problem is that I don't have the luxury of living in several countries for long time before I decide. I must do the best homework I can.
About Mexico....my accountant here in Greece advised me to avoid countries with global taxation system. It will be more complicated in my case. How do you deal with it?
I was in Playa del Carmen few years ago and I did some nice shopping there.😄
Thank you one more time for your advice
Anastasia

Thank you very much for your post. I'm rechecking all the information I have so far. Belize may not be a good idea after all!
Best regards
Anastasia

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