It’s amazing how fast it has grown
10:33 8 de March de 2022 By Daniel Oiticica
Joshua Host is an American entrepreneur who decided to bet on El Salvador by creating and settling a tourism company called Antiresorts. Culture, good values and great government support are the three pillars of the country that he highlighted in the following interview, in which he speaks about how easy he found investing in El Salvador since his arrival five years ago.
Why did you decide to start a business in El Salvador?
We arrived here five years ago and the first project we had was a beachfront resort. We have a company called Antiresorts and we focus on providing more authenticity to the amenities of the resorts that comprise it. We have three small hotels facing the sea and we combine them in a single project. We worked with a prestigious local architect named Eva Hinds on the remodelling. And then we added a day club called Nawi Beach House. Thanks to the support of the Development Bank of El Salvador (Bandesal) we also made an additional investment to add a commercial outsourcing process for our healthcare technology company in the United States.
What attracted you the most to this country?
When I first arrived, I experienced a warm welcome and that everyone was doing their best to help. From our side, we have the mission of providing an experience that changes the lives of our clients, so that we can show the magic of El Salvador. We have around 15,000 visitors per year who come to visit Mizata or Nawi, and this is our big chance, because Mizata is awesome! And the experience, the energy on site is similar to Mykonos (Greece). Everything looks beautiful here, something is different. Another thing that I found is a strong culture and we received great support from the people of El Salvador to transfer that to our companies.
What were the main changes that took place in El Salvador in recent years?
It’s amazing how fast it has progressed. We are seeing how roads, new development design projects, and infrastructure develops. But not only that, because the Tourism Office is helping hotels and different organizations involved in the area to be able to serve tourists. Beyond that, one of the challenges we had here was getting loans to complete projects at scale. And this is where we have seen the intervention of the current administration. For instance, Bandesal validated what we needed to expand our companies in the country. And this is essential, because if entrepreneurs found it easier to borrow money, capital would go in those directions. But thanks to the administration’s commitment to the entire Surf City area and to all the support, we were able to scale our projects.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs and investors who want to bet on El Salvador?
My experience has been incredible, so the first thing I would tell you is to talk to the government of El Salvador. And there are different agencies and departments willing to help you. The good thing about this is that you will find a counterpart who will be interested in talking to you and understanding how to create a win-win project. I have worked in many countries where bureaucracy is a big obstacle, so it is a real challenge to carry things forward. All those problems do not happen in El Salvador. So, what I think would be the best recommendation is to keep innovation in mind, because in this country they are looking for foreigners to carry out very high-quality projects.
How are Salvadorans in the workplace?
Each time you arrive in a new country you don’t know what is going to happen. And the amount of love and relationship that I built here is incredible. This is truly my second home. So my wife and I split the time between El Salvador and Laguna Beach. Here I have built relationships with people that will last a lifetime. There is a great capacity for unity around a common mission. It is very easy to find people with our same values. Also, they are all very polite and helped us quickly to add all of the Salvadoran culture to our companies, which is great for our guests and clients. So for anyone who’s focused on building a mission-driven organization, this is a phenomenal place to do it.