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Cyprus a golf haven October 20, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Golf.
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Cyprus is to market itself as the golfing Mecca of the Mediterranean in the coming years as property developers and construction firms plan new high-quality courses aiming to attract the attention of connoisseurs of the sport.

There are currently only three golf courses on the island but with another 14 projects in development, the Cypriot tourist board is hoping that high-spending golfers will flock to the Republic.

The move is part of a long-term goal to attract a more affluent tourist market that will not grab the headlines for all the wrong reasons such as the youth market, which caused the country’s tourism to boom in the late 1990s.

However, the authorities are very conscious of the damage that could be caused by a mushrooming tourist market and so are keen to preserve the country’s prime assets, particularly its environment.

Kate Hamilton a spokesperson for Home Overseas, noted that despite the commitment to new golf courses, there would not be unrestrained development. “There is only a certain amount of development that can happen especially where golf is concerned, because there isn’t room enough for a lot of golf courses,” she said.

However, the limited land space may benefit investors in the future as it will put a cap on supply, which would then draw up prices if tourist and housing demand remained strong.

Last month the Financial Mirror reported that the average house price rose by 1.6 per cent in August, according to the BuySell Cyprus Home Price Index, representing 8.5 per cent annual growth.

It is this stability that is attracting investors; private individuals seem comfortable investing in a country that is developing slowly because it means that the area surrounding their acquisitions will be protected from the sprawling developments of mass tourism. A gradual increase in property prices and rental yields is a factor that cannot be offered by many competing countries in the east of Europe.

In addition, the fact that English is widely spoken means not only that private individuals find it easier to conduct financial transactions but is also a sign that the cultural divide is not as marked as it is in some European property hotspots.

Cyprus is home to some 60,000 British expats and as flights can be bought for around £120 return, there is always a strong UK presence on the island, a feature that is making the country feel like an extension of the homeland, but blessed with 300 days sunshine a year.

Celebrity golfers at the Aphrodite Hills October 1, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos, Golf.
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Jasper Carrot, Sir Henry Cooper, Russ Abbot, Allen Wells, disc jockey Ed Stewart and world Champion Darts player Bob Anderson, in the company of several other TV stars and sports personalities, all came together this weekend to grace the greens at the Aphrodite Hills golf course.

Thomas Cook travel and the CTO, in association with The Variety Club, successfully organised what will hopefully become an annual celebrity event, the main aim of which is to raise money to help children with special needs.

With so many comedians dedicated to playing the game, Jasper Carrot was asked if he felt the game was in any way amusing or was it just the wearing of dodgy pink diamond patterned jumpers and yellow shorts that got all the laughs.

“I’ve never been heavily into the ‘couture’ side of the game, I enjoy playing golf for the game’s sheer charm, something that I find other sports just don’t offer.
“I’m also quite fascinated by the whole language of the game, words like eagle, birdie, and bogey all used to describe different actions on the course.

“Then there’s the almost unique honour system that exists. Few, if any, sports these days have this essential element. Nowadays it’s all about money and winning at any cost, that’s not part of the game of golf.

“That said it’s a game that does manage to reveal a person’s true character and that’s not something you can say about many other sports. It tests you in so many different ways, one day you feel everything is going brilliantly, so well indeed, that you feel that you could even take on Tiger Woods, the next morning it’s a total disaster area, but, like all golfers we do keep on going out there on the quest for that ever elusive perfect score.”

Russ Abbot, another highly talented actor/comedian is also hooked on the game, and for the same reasons. “ It’s also a sport that has no age limit so you can still wander out there on the greens until you’re 90. It’s truly a great pastime, it’s great therapy as well, because when you are playing you do manage to block out everything else that’s going on in your life.

“The other great thing about playing and enjoying ourselves here in Cyprus is the added bonus of being in the position to raise much needed funds for sick and needy children, so it’s a double pleasure to be here and hopefully it wont be long before I return. as I’d really like to spend more time here. What I’ve seen so far I do like’.

This was Jasper Carrot’s second visit to Cyprus. His first was over 30 years ago when he appeared at Curium. “Now that was one memorable experience. I have never forgotten the feeling of standing there in the open air with the sea behind me, a packed house, and thinking about all the other performers way back through the centuries who had also stood in the exact same spot waiting to perform. That was quite a moment.”

One’s left to wish that Aphrodite Hills had hidden microphones at every hole around the golf course. Then we could all have been privy to some of the best one liners uttered by such a grand group of fun-filled and totally generous golfers.

Cyprus > Golfing property a hit July 14, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Golf.
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When it comes to having a great holiday, Cyprus has always proved to be a popular destination. It offers 330 days of sunshine a year, beautiful beaches and of course friendly people. But it seems that Cyprus now has an added attraction – golf. The allure of golfing holidays, combined with luxury accommodation is gaining momentum, with the latest property niche being golfing estates.

Golfing as a lifestyle does have its attractions. The health impact is important to consider,  walking around miles of beautiful green lawns will always be good for health. Not to mention just being outside in lots of fresh air (and Cyprus has lots of it, due to its minimal industrial sector). And of course, once the golf game is finished, the magical Mediterranean is just a swing away.

Both the government and certain far-seeing companies in Cyprus are recognizing that there is a big future in golf in the country. From a tourism point of view, golf is always going to attract a certain kind of person, not mass-product, all-inclusive package holiday. Rather, these are people who want to be left alone to play their game in optimum surroundings, without screaming children and noisy holiday revelers. For this and other advantageous reasons, the government is making supportive gestures towards the fledging golfing industry in Cyprus. There are currently three golf courses in Cyprus, with two belonging to Aristo developers Tsada and Secret Valley, both in the Paphos district and another the latest on is Ahprodite hills belonging to lanitis group.

The golf property in Cyprus specially in paphos are set in such a way that reflect and promote the natural beauty of the area. What’s more attractive however, are the prices. Considering they are golf properties in a prestigious development, the starting price of around CYP 200 000 for a 3 bedroom vill with private swimming pool is not unreasonable.

According to Aristo’s Area Sales Manager, Themis Mavromichakos, interest in properties is high amongst investors, “I do private presentations to groups of about 15 to 20 people. This kind of investor has no interest in going to an exhibition with hundreds of other people who are looking for a holiday apartment in a traditional tourist area. They want premium property.” A beautiful villa on a golf course, surrounded by majestic mountains, right next to the Mediterranean sounds pretty premium indeed.

Aphrodite Hills
Aphrodite Hills is the most exclusive and luxurious golf and villa resort in Cyprus. Standing in a beautifully scenic spot among two gently sloping plateaus overlooking the Mediterranean it blends everything you would expect from a world class, purpose-built resort with the ambiance and charm of a traditional Cyprus village. Built on over 578 acres, the complex is fully equipped with health spa, tennis academy, driving range, shops and restaurants, a traditional village square, and off coarse an 18 hole championship golf coarse, making this the complete golfing and summer holiday retreat.

For more information visit:
http://www.aphroditehills.com
http://www.villaholidaycyprus.com

Cyprus to raise golf course total to 14 June 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Golf.
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According to the Cyprus News Agency, Cyprus is promoting the development of golf courses with foreign investment, offering the local and overseas business community attractive incentives, Finance Minister Michael Sarris has said.

Addressing a golf business forum in Paphos Saturday, he appeared very confident that the government’s strategic objective to adopt the euro by January 1, 2008, will be achieved.

Commenting on the economy, he said it is growing at a satisfactory pace underpinned by long term macroeconomic stability.

Cyprus, he noted, offers a number of comparative advantages as an international business centre, including its strategic geographical location, a high educational level of its workforce, social cohesion and a safe tourist environment with a pleasant climate.

Investment policy, he explained, is completely liberal and allows 100% foreign participation in all sectors of the economy not only for EU citizens but also for investors from third countries.

All restrictions concerning maximum allowable percentage of foreign participation, as well as minimum level of foreign investment in any enterprise in Cyprus, have been lifted as from January 2000 for EU-citizens and from October 1, 2004, for non–EU citizens, unless otherwise stated in the legislation.

Outlining the new strategy for the development of golf courses, he said this allows for the development of up to 14 golf courses in total and includes incentives to upgrade the image of Cyprus as a qualitative tourist destination and contribute towards the enrichment and diversification of the tourist product.  

News from Greece > in brief June 6, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Environment, Golf.
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Minister wants golfers in Greece

Attracting more golfers to Greece will be one of the country’s chief tourism targets over the coming years, Tourism Minister Fani Palli-Petralia said yesterday. She was visiting the island of Crete, which is hosting Greece’s first international golf tournament. “Crete is an ideal destination for all those people who play golf,” she said. The minister said that the government is preparing a draft law to help develop the game in Greece. “We have to create golf courses over the next few years because there is great interest and investment opportunities,” Palli-Petralia added.

Environment day

President Karolos Papoulias yesterday called on politicians and citizens to make a greater effort to curb widespread pollution ahead of today’s World Environment Day. “Environmental destruction is being provoked in the name of so-called development programs without end,” Papoulias said. “We need a radical change in mentality and behavior, we need to face our responsibilities as environmental disaster is the consequence of our daily habits,” he added.