THE CONSTRUCTION of an 18-hole golf course near Ayia Napa is expected to start next year pending approval from town planning authorities, a spokesman for the joint venture behind the project told The Cyprus Weekly.
The necessary documentation – including an environment impact study – is being prepared by a Swedish firm to be submitted for approval some time in October, said Famagusta Tourism Coordinating Committee marketing officer, Lakis Avraamides.
A joint venture of 36 hoteliers and Paralimni and Ayia Napa municipalities, the project provides for a golf course, club house, management offices and storerooms. There will be no holiday homes.
“The key to the project which will be built on land granted by the government is finding the investment to build and operate it. We are in contact with various, Swedish, British and Cypriot companies that have expressed an interest.
“We believe that it will not be very difficult to find an investor, although not having a housing complex makes it more difficult. Depending on procedures construction work for the project should start sometime in 2010,” said Avraamides.
The proposed golf course in Ayia Napa Forest is expected to attract high-earning tourists to the resort.
“The aim is to attract quality tourists and upgrade tourism in the Ayia Napa and Protaras area and to bring tourists to play golf in the winter months in order to extend the tourism season and solve the chronic problem of seasonality in the area,” said Avraamides.
A proposal for a second golf course in Ayia Napa by a private venture is currently before Cabinet.
“The development of a golf course in the Ayia Napa area will be good for tourism and boost the area especially during the winter months, when Cyprus offers good weather compared to northern European countries, during the high golf season, between October and April. This will help alleviate the seasonality problem and attract winter tourism to the island,” Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) golf tourism coordinator Maro Kazepi said.
The government policy is to build up to 14 golf courses on the island. There are currently three.
More than 4 million Europeans are registered golfers in clubs’ members of the European Golf Association.
© 2009 Cyprus Weekly