World-class golfing to be enjoyed during Cuba holidays as the island approves development of new golf courses
A cash-strapped, tourist-hungry Cuba is looking at ways of driving more tourism among the wealthiest travellers and with that purpose the country is in negotiation with foreign firms to build championship golf courses across the island.
For the enjoyment of all golf fanatics, Cuba holidays will now be catering to the golfing holiday market as the island approves the development of new championship golf courses, marinas and other real estate projects to be built with foreign capital provided by foreign investors. This new move is another step the country is taking to boost the tourism industry, Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero revealed on Tuesday.
This new measure exploiting the potential of Cuba holidays as a golfers’ dream holiday destination seems to be opening doors to foreign companies that have long-pending proposals to build at least 10 golf courses on the Caribbean island, which currently accounts with only two.Havana currently has a nine-hole course used mostly by diplomats and foreign business officials, while the beach resort of Varadero, 85 miles east of the capital has an 18-hole course.
"With the objective of developing regions that today are virgin, a policy was approved that permits real estate development associated with tourism, fundamentally golf courses, marinas and other complementary tourist investments," Marrero said during a news conference at Cuba's annual International Tourism Fair (FITCUBA 2010) which is currently taking place in Havana.
Marrero also said that the Cuban government was in advanced negotiations with "several potential foreign partners" to build golf developments, revealing that many new projects might begin construction very soon.
Now a cash-strapped Cuba is seeing Golf as a way to attract more tourists to the island, especially the better-off wealthy market that come to enjoy luxury Cuba holidays. According to government statistics even when last year, 2.4 million tourists took Cuba holidays, they spent 12% less than in 2008, and tourism officials want to do something to drive big spenders to take luxury holidays in Cuba.
Despite the decline, tourism still managed to bring in more than $2 billion in 2009, or about 20% of Cuban's foreign exchange income. To this Marrero added that just over a million people visited Cuba in the first four months of 2010 so the trend is looking upwards, whether in terms of profitability or popularity (or both) yer remains to be seen.
Cuba once had a dozen golf courses, but as most of them were privately owned, almost all were eliminated after the 1959 revolution when Fidel Castro came in power. Since then only a very small segment from the ludicrous golfing market come to Cuba holidays for golfing.
The proposed courses would include construction of luxury condos and homes, which has been a major sticking point in getting approval by the government. Cuba prohibits foreign ownership, so golf course developers have proposed they be given long leases for their projects.
Dozens of luxury Cuba hotels also have been built in joint ventures with international hotel chains while a huge marina is currently being built at Varadero with the hope that U.S. sailors will one day make the 90-mile trip across the Straits of Florida to Cuba. Americans are generally banned from taking Cuba holidays due to the 48-year-old U.S. trade embargo against the island, but legislation is pending in the U.S. Congress to lift the ban.
Marrero did not offer other details about the new policy, but said the official regulations would be published soon. According to him the new businesses "will permit the beginning of another stage for development of Cuban tourism ... in areas with tourist potential that still aren't exploited," .
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Cuba Browse all
Enjoy the long list of fun options for all the family or bask on Varadero's pure white sands
- Virgin Atlantic Sale, huge reductions sale ends 18th Oct
- Sample a host of activities including snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing, golf and more.
- Enjoy 24-hour all-inclusive service.
- Located on a gorgeous stretch of Varadero beach.
Fall in love with Havana and its captivating heritage before being dazzled by the pristine shores of Varadero
- You will be staying in luxurious hotels in both Havana and Varadero that combine perfectly and offer the best of both worlds whether you are looking to adventure or relax
- Experience the best of the world famous Varadero Beach where white sand is lapped by clear water when staying at Melia Varadero
- Enjoy a Welcome cocktail and a bottle of cava on arrival in Havana and Varadero
Ideal for trendy couples - stay at a chic and sleek hotel in the heart of vibrant Havana and then Stay next to Cuba's famous Varadero beach
- Virgin Atlantic Sale, huge reductions sale ends 18th Oct
- Exclusive Couples offer - Welcome Cocktail, 1 hour free Wifi Access in Havana plus a bottle of wine on arrival, 30-minute massage and a Romantic Dinner in Varadero
- Be swept away by the amazing views of Havana from Capri's rooftop pool
- Blau Vardero offers something for everyone with as little or as much as you want to do on offer including a spa
Combine colourful and vibrant Havana with a relaxing beach holiday in an award winning resort on the shores of Varadero
- Book early and benifit from huge early bird summer discounts!
- Discover Havana by day visit the historial sites and by night you can listen to live music or dance to the Salsa beat
- Enjoy complimentary pool-based dive courses on offer for beginners and experience one free daily dive at the Royalton Hicacos
- Three freshwater pools including four whirlpools and signature swim-up pool bar at Royalton Hicacos ensure an unforgettable holiday
One of Havana’s most historically popular mafia-run hotels of the 50s, the Capri is a legendary property with over...
Combine exploring the old dimes of Havana with a refreshing beach retreat in Vardero on an unforgettable twin centre...
Start your holiday at The Melia Habana Hotel, located in the heart of the elegant Miramar district, overlooking the sea....
Villa Romero is beautiful in its design, and its comfortable rooms are pleasantly decorated to a high standard, offering...
Explore the historic and cultural wonders of Cuba's spellbinding capital as you unwind over an eight-day getaway. Havana...
Are you searching for an adventurous holiday filled with culture, authenticity and charm? Then why not enjoy a twin...