I just read an article online that makes mention that real estate sales in Belize increased due to all the John McAfee publicity that out country received from the antics of the former software mogul. Did all of McAfee’s antics in Belize help with real estate sales? One real estate agent from the mainland does think so.
What’s for sure is that he did create a lot of publicity for the country which definitely translated to quite a bit of buzz on Belize, and especially San Pedro which was the epicenter of the murder case that had authorities searching for McAfee in need for questioning.
When the news broke out that McAfee might be involved in a murder case, all the huge media outlets like CNN, ABC news, NBC news, the Associated Press, Reuters started sending reporters over to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. McAfee was the center of attention and not the reality that another American national had died on the island. McAfee painted a very negative picture of the Belizean government and the police, who he said were out to get him. Residents panicked at first with fear of a negative backlash, but then the opposite occurred.
Some Belizean companies say business has increased as a result of the massive international exposure. One real estate agent in San Pedro says many people asked about McAffe. They would ask where his house was or refer to his house in reference of property on the island or "up North by McAffe's". Many even asked about buying "his" house too.
Another agent says that there was not really a ‘boom in sales’ per say; it was more like a generated interest in Belize on a whole. “At the end of the day the effect on real estate was minimal to none, although the media exposure was high,” she stated. “I feel the media houses shed a good bright light on Belize and they minimized any negative impacts in regards to the country whilst highlighting the dangers of drugs and megalomania.”
So real estate boom or not, the most important thing everybody was grateful about was that this one man show was not able to cause such a negative impact onto Belize. Word is out that there might be a movie and/or book deal for McAfee. It will be interesting to see what happens then.
The first media wave placed people’s radars on Belize as a place to check out and not to stay away from. It showed our beautiful island, amazing scenery, its friendly people and gorgeous properties for sale and not the horrible place McAfee pictured it to be. Heck! He did say that there was no other place in the world he would rather live than in Belize. Why he ruined his dream? Good question!
The dream of living in Belize, investing in Belize, retiring in Belize, visiting Belize is truly alive and it is up to all its residents to keep it alive and keep making Belize one of the most beautiful places on earth.