1/19/2009

Turkey to become European golf center

Today’s Zaman - Turkey is poised to become a hub of golf tourism in Europe as a result of its steadily increasing number of courses. Golf is particularly popular in Antalya, and entrepreneurs have made investment in this city, Turkey's main tourism center, a top priority. The Turkish-owned hotel operator LykiaGroup expects to see 10,000 wealthy tourists from European countries in 2009 in their newly opened LykiaWorld & LinksGolf resort in Antalya. Kieron Morrissey, the new resort's golf director, told Today's Zaman that Turkey is set to become one of the top destinations for European golf tourism within the next five years. He said there were currently 15 golf courses in Antalya and that all of them were located in close proximity to each other. "Turkey has a unique advantage that no other country has. You can go from one course to the other in ten minutes. There is nothing like that in the world except in Antalya" he stressed. He also noted that the high-quality tourism facilities in Antalya and its convenient location for European visitors were extra advantages. He said the golf courses in Antalya were primarily created by famous designers and were of better quality than their counterparts in Europe. Morrissey said starting from 2010 he expected world-famous golfers to start choosing Turkey over European countries. He said people from some European countries had difficulty in going to Antalya due to a lack of direct scheduled flights to the city. He noted that Turkey's golf tourism income will shoot up if the necessary investments are made and the transportation problem is solved.