Cuba – The next golf frontier?

A recent article in Businessweek caught my attention as the travel and hospitality industry recovers from a miserable trading environment. Many of the luxury resorts in the USA are at best struggling and overseas operators are not fairing much better.

I have long thought that Cuba, when she opens her doors to US visitors will be a very popular destination. I have never visited Cuba but I understand it is a very interesting island nation. For a golf perspective, there are many companies aligned to the golf industry who would dearly love to have access to Cuba; from developers who see resorts in Cuba and condos as the next gold rush, to golf course architects who would drool  at the opportunity to build a seaside course unencumbered by the coastal development restrictions of the US and elsewhere; golf course construction companies who are desperately trying to replace the golf course construction boom in the US of the first half of the last decade; course operators like Troon Golf who would happily add to their portfolio….and finally the travel industry which is always looking for the next frontier….and eventually the golfer who is seeking a new golf experience in a hitherto forbidden land!

My understanding is that at the current time there is one golf course in Cuba that is operated by the Spanish Hotel group, Sol Melia. The facility dates back before the revolution…given the manner in which golf has been leveraged by the tourism industry throughout the globe, my sense is Cuba will have substantially more than one course at some point in the future.

I cannot speak to the polotical ramifications of the embargo, but confidently believe the golf industry is ready to begin the invasion.

About the Author: Gordon Dalgleish is the Co-Founding Director of PerryGolf, the leading provider of international golf vacations. You can find him on Google+