Famagusta could have its first golf course within three years, as the €100 mln Ayia Napa Forest Golf project is expected to get the green light from environmental authorities after being rejected four times over eco concerns.
The golf course is to be built on land owned by the Forestry Department.
In comments to the Financial Mirror Ayia Napa hotelier Christos Kitazos said latest developments indicate that the project will get the all-clear as no authority or stakeholder has posed any objections during the forestry department’s initial contacts.
“On May 25, the Forestry Department sent a letter to the relevant government departments, asking them for their view regarding the lease of forest land within Paralimni municipality and the application by the company Ayia Napa Forest Golf Ltd,” Kitazos said.
Create 500 jobs
Kitazos said that the construction alone would create 500 local jobs.
“While the Famagusta region hosts approximately 40% of foreign tourists and approximately 50% of local visitors, it has the shortest occupancy season, as compared to the all-year destinations such as Limassol and to a lesser extent Paphos.
The Ayia Napa Golf course is to contribute immensely towards extending our short occupancy season as it will be an all-year attraction for foreign and local tourists.”
Kitazos said Ayia Napa Forest Golf is already in contact with one of the world’s largest golf course design companies to create a course of international standards, which will attract not only tourists but professional golfing events.
The local hotelier added that combined with the Ayia Napa and Paralimni Marina projects, the Ayia Napa Forest Golf course will breathe life into the area’s winter tourism.
He said this would greatly benefit local communities, as it would create non-seasonal jobs which are hard to come by in the tourist resort which lives off its summer season.
Hotel and villas
Kitazos said he expected the golf course to be completed towards the end of 2023, coinciding with the conclusion of works on the two marina projects.
The area covered by the project, which is outside the “special protection zone”, is expected to be about 771,000 square metres, including the course, residential, commercial, and tourist development.
The €100 mln project is to include an 18-hole golf course, a clubhouse, tourism and commercial development and a 150-room five-star hotel and other residential developments including villas.