Organisers of the 2003 European Golf Investment and Real Estate Conference & Exhibition, to be held in Athens on 28th & 29th November, report very positive feedback from leading golf, hospitality, entertainment, leisure real estate and residential tourism executives as well as investors, entrepreneurs and governmental officials throughout Europe.
The high level of speakers at the conference is a great attraction while the theme of golf development and real estate investment has been very well received by public authorities, governments and senior decision-makers in south-east Europe, especially Greece, a country with only six golf courses and a great desire to ‘kick-start‘ this embryonic market.
The commercial counsellor at the US embassy in Athens, Mr. Walter Hage, said, “The 2003 European Golf Investment and Real Estate Conference & Exhibition marks a turning point in Greece’s determination to evolve into a year-round tourist destination. Moreover, it offers an outstanding opportunity for representatives from the many sectors of the golf, resort and tourism infrastructure industry to meet with decision makers and counterparts from nearly two dozen countries in the EU and the surrounding, rapidly emerging tourism markets.”
He added that the US Commercial Service will arrange one-on-one ‘matchmaking‘ appointments for American companies and participants. “No one connected with any aspect of golf, resort and tourism infrastructure expansion can afford to miss this exciting two day event in Greece,” said Hage.
More than 200 delegates are expected to participate in what is undoubtedly the largest and most wide-ranging conference of its type in Europe this year. Greece is an embryonic market with huge development potential, surrounded by other emerging, virtually undeveloped and virgin markets, for example Bulgaria, Croatia, Russia, Ukraine, the ten new EU member countries and the east Mediterranean, especially Cyprus and Turkey.
“The outcome of this conference will be extremely important to our members especially as it will influence opinions and directives as well as create new opportunities,” said Peter Harradine, president of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA).
“Golf courses combined with real estate projects are a controversial subject in most parts of Europe,” continued Mr Harradine. “The dogged resistance and complicated procedures required to obtain building permits can be quite draconian. Obviously the protection and enhancement of the environment and the harmonious integration of the real estate and golf course into the surrounding landscape is of prime importance.
“The timing and significance of this conference is vital and could not have happened at a better time as it seeks to address some of the most important and contentious issues which will hopefully minimise and clarify the many erroneous misconceptions surrounding such developments.”
Mr Dana Garmany, chairman and CEO of Troon Golf from the US said, “In our view, there are several countries, particularly in southern Europe, that remain on the periphery with regards to golf tourism and golf real estate investment. The golf market in Europe is maturing and the demand for golf as a lifestyle is ever increasing. We look forward to bringing our international experience to assist where possible, as a catalyst for investors or government agencies to promote the golf industry in these exciting new locations.”
Conference delegates will also have the opportunity to exchange ideas and views on the future of the golf, resort, hospitality and leisure real estate industries in the existing, more mature markets such as western, central and northern Europe.
At the two-day exhibition — which runs parallel to the conference — manufacturers and service providers will show their products, services and technology, and present their company to the conference participants and the media.
For the organisers Peter M. Heilmann, director of INV International Ltd, said, “At our conference, investors and financiers will meet entrepreneurs with projects who are looking for capital; golf-course designers will do business with those looking for expert advice; land owners will mingle with those looking for land to develop integrated leisure resorts or sustainable – real estate driven – golf courses.
“We really believe this conference is a must for investors and professionals involved in real estate-driven golf development, golf resorts, golf hotels, golf courses, mixed-use development, residential tourism, banking and finance in Europe.”
European Golf Investment and Real Estate Conference & Exhibition www.invgolf.com