Expanding Infrastructure & Improved Amenities
As with the other Bay Islands, the infrastructure and amenities are constantly improving. In conjunction with the new airport, Utila now has very good roads linking the town with the North side and East end of the island. The new electrical system now services the entire island as well as the Cays. Well-stocked supermarkets, wonderful new restaurants, state of the art telecommunications, satellite television and high speed internet all combine to create an increasingly comfortable living and off shore working environment. Working via the internet is a popular option for ex-pats who wish to remain engaged in business while enjoying a paradise environment at a fraction of the cost of a western life.
Ease of Access
Direct flights from Miami, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Toronto, London and Milan to mainland Honduras and Roatan allow easy air access to Utila. Regularly scheduled flights from mainland cities , as well as Roatan, provide daily access and hourly to the island. The Utila Princess is the twice daily passenger ferry service between the mainland port of La Ceiba and Utila. Journey time is approximately one hour. Add to the mix a tax free business environment, English speaking locals, an easy going lifestyle with a very low cost of living and it becomes clear that Utila offers the best opportunities to be found anywhere in the Caribbean.
Over 80,000,000 Americans have now reached retirement age and are aggressively looking for retirement opportunities. Utila is the last affordable island in the Caribbean. Land prices have been rising steadily in the Bay Islands over the past several years. Nonetheless, Utila remains an outstanding value for those prepared to act. Comparable property to Coconut Cove Marina and Beach on Turks & Cocoas, the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman, etc. sell for ten times the price. The Bay Islands have an ease of residency not available in most areas of the Caribbean. It has never been easier to live and work in Utila. Unlike many Caribbean islands, you can move to the Bay Islands to live and work with relative ease. Residencies are easy to come by and foreign nationals can own and operate businesses within the framework of local jurisdiction.
Growing Local Economy
The huge popularity of scuba diving combined with the creation of reef protection zones around the islands means that the long-term prospects for the area remain excellent. Fishing is still a major source of revenue for the local economy but tourism is fast catching up as divers, fishing tourists, sailors, retirees, investors and other adventurers are discovering the paradise of Utila. Cruise ship traffic to the Bay Islands has increased tenfold over the past several years. This continues to increase the international exposure of Utila and add to the tourist traffic. The currency is the Lempira. However, in Utila U.S. Dollar banknotes can be used in place of the Lempira, with the local stores and businesses usually giving exchange rates at the same (or sometimes better) than the local Honduran banks without charging exchange commissions. This ease of currency and currency exchange is seen by tourists as highly advantageous and in turn facilitates the growth of the local economy of Utila.