Another great thing about the VI is the number of tourists that come in each year, and with that the amount of tourism-focused businesses. Because there are so many tourists coming in every year to the islands, we have many budding business owners looking to take advantage by providing a product or a service that the tourists will want or need.
One of the biggest tourist stores in the VI had been financed by us through a loan. Business loans are the biggest sources of finance for companies, and once they had enough money, they created what was a chain of supermarkets around the island. What we loved about it and made us want to invest was that they operated in the most populace parts of the island, but where stores don’t operate.
As strange as that may sound, it does make sense. If there is a high foothold of traffic but little to no stores around for a tourist to buy a bottle of water, sun cream or other essentials, then they would be willing to pay more. If you are on a hot island and you don’t know if you will see a store for another hour or two, then you would be more willing to part with £5 for a bottle of water, whereas if you were in England you wouldn’t.
While some believe that this is taking advantage of the tourists that visit the islands, the truth is that the people who do come to VI on vacation are generally part of the superiorly wealthy. They are travellers who are either investing in businesses or using the offshore banking system the island provides.
The store owner was very smart to plan out his chain in places with high traffic and low supply. We knew immediately it was a winning investment.