If you have ever fantasised about owning a private island, you will know that for most people, it's a lovely idea but completely out of reach. 

An aerial view of a green island in sparkling blue water
Coffee Island in Belize is one of the short-listed islands. (c) Let's Buy an Island

A project that has been over a decade in the making might be the answer though, as investors and citizens are being sought for the world’s first crowdfunded private island, the Principality of Islandia.

Starting as a conversation between friends, 'Let's Buy an Island' evolved from wishful thinking into a serious business plan. IBG, the Cayman Islands-registered corporation behind the project, is an international community of investors and travellers committed to creating a socially-responsible, eco-friendly, self-sustaining island property. The shareholders have visited various sites around the world to create created a shortlist of five possible islands to buy.

The shortlist includes Malaipo Island in the Philippines, Coffee Island in Belize, Panama Island in Panama, Mannion Island in Ireland and Nangashanti Resort in Borneo. The aim is to raise $400,000 (€360,400) and so far, $100,000 (€90,100) has been committed. The current price to buy a share in the island is $3250 (€2928) and the organisation aims to attract no more than 150 shareholders. Becoming a citizen costs $19.99 (€18.01) and the plan is to have 5000 registered citizens.

An island with palm trees, a rocky beach and lots of green bushes.
Malaipo Island in the Philippines is one of the short-listed islands. Image: Let's Buy an Island

Once the target number of investors has been achieved, the island will be purchased and developed into a holiday destination. "Our aim is to eventually deliver a return on investment for our shareholders," says IBG. "What we do with the island will depend on its price, size and location. We are working at business models for all of our final shortlist locations, which range from glamping retreats to eco havens."

For further information, please visit the website here.

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