Luxury golf property project approved in Cuba

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Plans for a $350 million development designed by golfing legend Tony Jacklin have been approved by officials in Cuba in a landmark decision.

The 18 hole course will be the very first luxury golf project in the country and is one of a dozen similar projects that have been under consideration.

Fidal Castro ordered most of the island’s golf courses to be shut down because he considered them elitist more than fifty years ago, and now the Carbonera Club proposed by British firm Esencia is set to be the first course built in Cuba since the 1990’s.

Confirmation that a deal had been reached for a joint venture between Esencia and the Cuban government to develop the Carbonera on a 170 hectare coastal site was announced by Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero.

As well as the golf course, the plans include the construction of an exclusive gated community, apartments, villas, hotel and a country club. The building work is due to start next year and will also see the construction of tennis courts, a spa and a yacht club on the site.

In the pre-Communist era there were seven golf courses on the island which were used mainly by wealthy American visitors. Today there is only one 18 hole course at the Varadero Golf Club.

Tourism is now the second biggest source of income on the island and has continued to grow since the relaxation of laws regarding visits to the island twenty years ago. Almost 3 million tourists visited the island in 2012.

The Cuban government is looking for ways to increase visitors levels and a consequence of this is the relaxing of regulations surrounding foreign investment in the country. Developments such as the Carbonera Club will see foreign investors being able buy property in the country for the first time.

If you would like to invest in Cuba, think carefully about how you will be transferring money abroad. Specialist currency exchange companies can generally offer far better deals than the banks.

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