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Golf Tourism Statistics in Bulgaria - Future Developments

Future developments - Terra Tour Services, a subsidiary of Agrohold JSC are set to invest 71.8 million Leva in Pravets Golf & Spa Club close to the town of Pravets, which lies 50km from Sofia. The complex will contain a five-star hotel, a sports complex, an 18-hole PGA standard golf course, a casino, a modern spa centre, apartments, single-family houses and luxury villas. The unique selling point of this resort is that it will have a lot of private spaces with access for club members only. The project was designed by Harradine-Golf, a company which has developed over 200 golf courses worldwide. Construction is due to start this year with a completion date set for 2011.

Hristo Kovachki - a Bulgarian business tycoon who has made money from the energy sector announced that he will enter into a joint venture enterprise with Karlovo municipality to construct a golf course in Banya. Banya Golf and Spa Resort is already under construction and will consist of golf courses and ‘vacation villages’. Kovachki is investing 60 million euros. British construction company RilaDev and Bulgarian company Tempo are also set to invest in Banya with a 25 million euros resort covering 16,000 sq m. The project, known as the Pirinea Complex, will consist of a five-building residential section, a four-star hotel, a conference and business centre and a spa complex. It will also include and facilities for ski, golf, tennis and bowling. The complex is due to be completed by summer 2009 and the anticipated annual return on apartments is seven to eight per cent.

Lyuben Tatarski, mayor of Razlog announced that seven golf courses are to be constructed in the municipality. The first will be in Betlovoto and will cover 90 hectares of land. Another will be located in the village of Kulinoto and will cover 60 hectares. A larger golf complex, covering over 180 hectares of land planned to be built around the villages of Dolno and Gorno Draglishte, Dobarsko and Godlevo. Razlog municipality is investing 72 million Leva over a six-year period to improve the infrastructure so that the area can better cope with the influx of golf tourists. Many more courses are planned for the southern Black Sea coast including the Kalvacha Investment Company’s 160 million Leva course in Pryaporets, near Bourgas. Panayot Reizi, Sozopol’s new mayor has made amendments to the town’s urban zoning plan, enabling the construction of three golf courses, a range of beachfront villas, an aqua park and a small runway for charter planes.

Golf and Ski! - Bulgaria’s ski resorts will also see their fair share of golf tourism with a course planned in Dolna Banya, near Borovets to be known as Ibar Golf Complex. Popular ski resort Bansko will be home to Bansko Bells ski and golf residence. A&V Building, the development company responsible for the course, has put a lot of effort into creating an eco-friendly site, which is set to develop into a year-round holiday destination. Bansko Bells will consist of 114 apartments ranging from studios to two-bedrooms and will run frequent shuttle buses to the nearby signature courses.

 

One of the most prestigious courses in this area is the Pirin 18-hole course in Bansko- Razlog valley. The golf offers golf enthusiasts the rare opportunity to tee off amongst tree-lined fairways in the morning and then slalom down snow-capped peaks in the afternoon. In the evening you canunwind in the thermal water spas. For investors, the Pirin Golf and Country Club combines exclusivity with affordability. Pirin golf properties are expected to reach higher-than-average capital appreciation, backed by guaranteed year-round rental yields.

 

More than 65 million people worldwide play golf. To some it is classed as an elitist sport and in some countries annual membership fees are in excess of 100,000 euros. Bulgarian golf membership fees will be low in comparison to the rest of the world, making it another reason why people will be keen to join here. By comparison, Scotland, which has an area of 79,000 sq. m and a population of 5.1 million people, has 400 courses.

A further 15 professional golf courses are already in the pipeline, and experts predict that Bulgaria will be home to around 40 golf courses in the next 10 to 15 years. This will have the added effect of increasing the length of the tourist season to around nine months of the year. The financial investment into golf courses in Bulgaria and the country’s active promotion is liable to increase golf tourism statistics and encourage foreign real estate purchases for a long time to come. If predicted growth and revenue is anything to go by, golf tourism will become yet another reason for tourists to make a bee-line for Bulgaria.