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Government plans trebling of domestic golf courses June 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Infrastructure, Golf, Tourism.

Tourism Development Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia announced that 16 new golf courses will be added to the existing ones, which include this 18-hole course at Hersonissos on Crete.

Greece will soon add many more golf courses to its existing ones, as the government is promoting 16 investment programs toward this end, Tourism Development Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia announced yesterday.

The Minister spoke of the significance the government attributes to the development of modern golf courses through procedures that secure the protection of the environment. The 16 international-standard courses will be created at Pota in Messenia, in the southern Peloponnese (7), at Cavo Sidero, the Minoan Lines investment (5), at Porto Karras (1), at Kilada Hills (1) and at Atalanti Hills (2).

Palli-Petralia was speaking on the occasion of the award ceremony for the 2nd Aegean Airlines Pro-Am tournament at the Hersonissos course in Crete. This was only the second time an international contest has been held with the support of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of Europe and of the Greek PGA. The Chairman of Aegean Airlines and head of the organizing committee of the tournament, Theodoros Vassiliakis, referred to a recent survey by the KPMG consultancy on the expansion of golf into other countries. He said that there is a significant number of courses in all the tourism markets Greece is interested in drawing to its shores.

In Scandinavia, there are over 900 courses with up to 1 million golfers, in the UK and Ireland there are more than 3,000 courses with over 1.5 million players, while in the Mediterranean countries, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, that are potential rivals to Greece, there are more than 1,150 courses and 600,000 players.

The tourism markets of Europe account for 80 percent of arrivals to this country and golf is a great attraction for many visitors. New golf courses will mean many more hotels and will allow tourism companies to operate 12 months a year.

There is considerable growth in neighboring countries, such as Cyprus, which has three courses and plans to build another 11. The CEO of Navarino Resorts, Achilleas Constantakopoulos, said it is very important that the Pro-Am tournament took place for a second straight year. He added that the Mediterranean, including North African countries, has 500 golf courses in operation, combined with hotel installations or rental units and that in the near future this number will soar to 8,000. Andreas Metaxas, the Chief Executive of Cretan Golf, thought it encouraging that environmental concerns are taken into account when creating golf courses in Greece. Thus not only are essential measures taken but also the nature of the neighboring areas can be conserved.

ABP Plus International, of the Cyprus Paraskevaidis Group, will invest over 210 million euro in a major tourism project called Apollo Resort at Soros, near Volos in central Greece. The complex, to be ready in 2012, will include a five-star hotel, a marina and an 18-hole golf course.

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