HAVANA,May 12th — “We offer you the sun,” proclaims a huge promotion poster at what will be the largest golf complex in Latin America in seven years.
The sun indeed shines every day in Punta Colorada, a remote spot in the western Cuban province of Pinar del Rio, some 110 km west of Havana.
Pristine beauty greets visitors when looking at the beach in Punta Colorada, future home of a megaproject predicted to cost over 1.2 billion U.S. dollars.
The joint venture, Punta Colorada S.A., comprised of the state-owned Cubagolf and the Spanish group La Playa Golf & Resorts, is responsible for this ambitious project aimed at stimulating the Cuban tourism industry.
The construction work will cover 700 hectares and will result in 1,250 rooms distributed across three hotels, and more than 1,700 villas, apartments and bungalows.
In addition, there will be a marina with a capacity of 300 boats, and two 18-hole golf courses, one of which will have a hole in the sea.
Punta Colorada will also see the construction of a high performance sports center that will allow athletes to come and train in various sports such as soccer, tennis, baseball and sailing.
“There is a very interesting concept, which is to take advantage of facilities for high sports performance. Some countries have cold weather at certain times and athletes cannot train,” Jaume Roma, president of the joint venture, told the press.
Raudel Garcia, Cubagolf’s director, explained that this is just one of 13 real estate development projects aimed at boosting Cuba’s tourism industry.
Garcia pointed out that in the coming years, Cuba will have 27 golf courses. It will then aspire to join the main international circuits.
The director said that similar facilities exist throughout the Caribbean and that the competition is far ahead of Cuba. However, he believed that Cuba’s location and beautiful beaches will turn it into an attractive golfing destination.
Besides Punta Colorada, another golf course is being planned in Pinar del Rio, close to the tourist complex of La Guira.
However, Punta Colorada remains the largest project of all. By generating more than 3,000 jobs, the project will have a great social impact. On its own, it will exceed the total number of hotel rooms currently in the province.
“Cuban companies, especially those from Pinar del Rio, will be fully involved. This has been the case since the beginning of the work, and it is part of the necessary production chain demanded by these projects,” said Garcia.
As part of the government’s plans to boost the tourism industry in Cuba, a number of large projects are being built. Bello Monte is a project being constructed by Cubagolf and the Chinese company Beijing Enterprises Holdings Limited, which will include a luxury hotel, apartments and houses about 30 km east of Havana.
In the western province of Matanzas, a hotel complex with more than 1,000 rooms and an 18-hole golf course will be built.
Cubagolf has negotiated another two similar real-estate projects, one with the Chinese property developer Yantai Golden Mountain in Guardalavaca beach, and the other with Germany’s CON-IMPEX Touristik in Punta Gorda, in the central province of Camaguey.
Cuba expects to welcome some 5 million foreign tourists this year, after receiving 4.7 million foreign visitors in 2017.
The tourism industry is the second-largest source of revenue in Cuba, making up around 10 percent of the gross domestic product.