Golf tourism in Bulgaria-what to expect

When in beginning of 90ties Japanese business woman, who was admired by Bulgaria, decided that a golf course needed to be constructed in Bulgaria, her statement sounded rather exotic and naturally unusual. Today the result does surprise nobody.

The construction of golf courses has marked its boom over the recent years and golf tourism is evolving rapidly in Bulgaria which actually provides opportunities to exploit new tourism markets. Surely Bulgaria is a popular ski, SPA and seaside destination. However, projects for the development of yacht harbours, aqua parks and entertainment centres have increased their number so far.

More than 28 projects for the construction of golf courses have been approved.
It is not a secret that the construction of a golf courses requires serious investment and perfect project, because it is the municipality which approves the project and provides the land. For instance, the golf course of Ihtiman /60km away from Sofia city/, which boasts 18 holes, is estimated at 2 million EUR along with all facilities: tennis court, swimming pool, houses etc.
It is notable that in order for Bulgaria to increase its presence as a golf destination, at least 10 internationally licensed golf courses are needful.
‘We already have them constructed, commented Rumen Todorov, a member of World Association of Golf Journalists and a lecturer at International Tourism College in Dobrich. Golf gradually turns itself into a sport which is close to Scottish traditions, because it is a national game in Scotland and there all golf courses are open for public use.
The construction of golf courses has gained popularity in Bulgaria. Moreover, golf will become an Olympic discipline after 6 years at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Bulgaria’s North Black Sea coast, more specifically the area of Kavarna,takes pride in 3 golf courses.

There are golf courses around Razlog, the village of Banya, and in close to proximity to Bulgaria’s capital city-in Pravets and near Ravno Pole, in the town of Sliven etc. All golf playgrounds have been constructed amidst beautiful natural surroundings, in mountains and by the sea. These are indeed golf courses which may proudly host tournaments of world class. In this respect, ‘Golf in Bulgaria’ is not an exotic phrase anymore. Bulgarian golf courses have been constructed by renowned world designers.
Gary Player, Ian Woosenam, Peter Harradine, Jack Nicklaus are names which every golf fan knows. Other golf courses designed by such prominent designers are located more than 1,500 km from Bulgaria, which is a great advantage and prestigious recognition to our country”, Rumen Todorov says.

The education and training of specialized personnel for servicing golf courses is of utmost importance. The International College for Tourism in Dobrich (Northern Bulgaria) has already introduced a subject on golf in its programs. Many of its students have played golf at international golf clubs in Ireland, the USA, Great Britain, and the Caribbean islands. They have proved that they can assist customers of the highest rank. They have been studying for more than 4 years the world practices in this sport and can apply all they have learned in Bulgaria in order to promote Bulgaria’s golf courses and attract tourists.
45 journalists and tour operators from abroad visited Bulgaria in April. All of them are representatives of World Association of Golf tour operators IAGTO, and they decided to visit golf courses at Bulgaria’s North Black Sea, namely Light House, Black Sea Rama, Thracian Cliffs which are supposed to host future golf tournaments. Therefore, Razlog, Bansko, Pravets , Sofia and Bulgaria’s North Black Sea will reveal their charm and perfect conditions of Bulgaria’s golf courses will be shown to the public.

The combination of world golf courses of the highest rank, natural resources which Bulgaria boasts in abundance, SPA centres, cultural and historic heritage, eco food, all these gather together will satisfy the expectations of golf players. Of course, Bulgaria takes care of training qualified personnel and high values customers’ feedback in order to become one of the most attractive golf destinations in Europe, said Rumen Todorov.

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