While over the past 20 years golf has experienced a strong development in the Mediterranean and has become one of the key factors of growth in the tourism sector and overall economy, the golf industry in Croatia has not yet been developed.
Countries such as Spain and Portugal are the favourite destinations and favourite "second home" destination for golfers from all over Europe and North America. Learning from this experience, the countries of the south-eastern Mediterranean have begun redefining its offer to tourists focusing on golf in order to prolong the tourist season and attract upscale tourists. Italy and Turkey have issued legal provisions to encourage the investment in golf course projects, resulting in the construction of new golf centres in Sardinia and Antalya.
Antalya is very interesting since the economy of this Turkish province - is based solely on tourism. In the past new golf courses have been built, which is a result of the Turkish government’s resolution that the construction of golf courses is one of the 6 pillars of the Turkish economy’s development.
It is worthwhile to take a look at an example of the tourist region of the Algarve in Portugal. As an established tourist destination, this region decided to invest in golf courses to take advantage of the favourable climate conditions and to add facilities which would extend the tourist season. It is now the most famous Portuguese tourist destination with an almost full season of 11 months.
Therefore, it is evident that the development of golf projects has a direct positive effect on local and national economies. However, it is worth mentioning the positive effects that the construction of golf courses can have on the environment.
The best example is Port Aventura Golf in Spain, which has 3 golf courses designed by Greg Norman. The entire resort is built in a protected nature park of and Greg Norman won a prestigious certification, "Audubon International Gold Signature Sanctuary" for the design of the golf course, which assigns one of the oldest, most complex and most respected conservation organisations in the world which recognises the sustainable integration of the best golf courses in the world. Port Aventura Golf emphasises the responsible management of water resources, the restoration of areas of natural interest "La Sequía Major", the respect of local flora and fauna and the protection of archaeological remains found during its construction.