Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Week That Was, november 6, 2011

sri lanka A Future Golf Destination?

With its golf-themed resort in Thailand already well-established and a new one under construction in Vietnam, Banyan Tree Holdings is now scouting for sites in Sri Lanka.

The Singapore-based hotelier wants to build “an integrated resort with several hotels, golf course, residential developments, and retail and spa centers,” according to a press statement.

The company’s interest is an expression of faith in the island’s economic future, now that two decades’ worth of civil strife has ended.

“We were about to open a beach resort near Colombo [on the southwestern coast] when it was destroyed by the Asian tsunami,” Ho Kwon Ping, the executive chairman of the Singapore-based hotelier, said after an expedition to the island earlier this year. “We are happy to be back and are optimistic about the prospects for this beautiful and now peaceful country.”

And Banyan Tree isn't alone in its appreciation for Sri Lanka as a potential golf destination.

Last month, the governor of the Southern Province said that a golf course is to be built in Galle, the province's capital.

In addition, Alpha & Omega Developers (Pvt.) Ltd. wants to build a golf resort in Beragala, a small town southwest of Badulla, in the southern part of the island. Beragala Eco-Friendly Golf Resort will spread over 628 acres and include houses and a hotel.

Alpha & Omega (some publications spell its name as Alfa & Omega) hasn't yet produced an environmental impact report for the project, however, and it's said to be fending off complaints from both government officials and citizens' groups.

Tourism in Sri Lanka has been booming since mid 2009, according to a report in the Daily News. Tourism officials say that 381,538 vacationers came to Sri Lanka during the first six months of 2011, still a measly number but an increase of nearly 37 percent from the same period in 2010.

What's more, the nation's tourism ministers believe there's a lot more where that came from. By 2016, they believe, the nation will attract 2.5 million tourists annually.

Banyan Tree says the model for its planned resort will be Laguna Phuket, an exceedingly popular coastal vacation spot in Thailand with six hotels and an 18-hole golf course. Laguna Phuket also served as the model for Banyan Tree's Laguna Lang Co, a waterfront resort in Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam that will feature an 18-hole golf course that’s been designed by Nick Faldo.

Some information in this post originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of the World Edition of the Golf Course Report.

iraq Tigris Woods?

Would you be surprised if I told you that a planned golf community in Iraq is, as the National puts it, “still in limbo, with no indication when work will begin”?

The community is to be developed by an Abu Dhabi-based group, Al Maabar, on 3,000 acres within a bomb blast of Baghdad. It's been planned to include houses, a hotel, museums, a technology center, and other attractions.

Some heavy hitters with golf experience -- Aldar Properties and Reem Investments among them -- are part of Al Maabar's investment group. The group is also fixing to develop a high-density, mixed-use project (no golf) outside Tripoli, in Libya, but it's also become a victim of political uncertainty.

scotland Meteor's Showering

Meteor Asset Management's revitalization of Taymouth Castle continues, with the property's modernized golf course scheduled to reopen next summer.

The renovation is being overseen by Bruce Weller, a British architect who's getting design assistance from Stephen Gallacher, a little-known Scottish pro. When the upgraded course makes its debut, it'll have two entirely new holes and nine new greens, and it'll be longer (7,000 yards) than it was in 1923, when its first 12 holes (designed by James Braid) originally opened. (The remaining holes were added in the 1940s.)

The formerly mothballed Taymouth Castle, which dates from the 1550s, has two claims to fame: First, Queen Victoria visited it in 1842. Second, one of its previous owners (the Seventh Earl of Breadalbane, if you must know) lost it while gambling in Monte Carlo in the 1920s.

china The Chus Go Clubbing

David and Ken Chu, dubbed by Forbes as the "first family of the fairways" in China, will team up with Hong Kong's 24-hour party people to build a shopping and entertainment complex on Hainan Island.

The complex will include stores, restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues, and a man-made lake. The Chus and their partner, Allan Zeman of Lan Kwai Fong Group, plan to break ground on it next year.

The Chus, as you know, developed the massive Mission Hills golf resorts, the first in Shenzhen, the second on Hainan Island. They haven't yet said anything about the island being over-saturated with golf courses, but they obviously believe that vacationers cannot live on golf alone.

Zeman believes that China “is going through a massive change into a consumer economy, and there’s opportunity for us.”

Speaking of vacationers, 14.4 million of them visited Hainan Island in the first six months of this year -- a 12 percent increase over the number posted during the first six months of 2010.

1 comment:

  1. The "power outage" just prior to the break-in has to be more than a coincidence, right? is this a new golf techniques?
    golf club