VENTURES AFRICA – With the emerging growth of golf tourism in Kenya, Tarquin Wood, a Kenyan farmer is planning to establish a multi-million dollar golf resort near the world-famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
According to a report by Business Daily Africa, the business, which is expected to gulp about Sh1.3billion ($15,700,482.51), will be established under the flagship of his company-Olerai Ltd. The new initiative is expected to take the pressure off the game reserve and offer alternative activities like golf and tennis.
The land is more than 1,300 acres and currently serves as a plantation filled with maize, wheat and french beans while Wood awaits approval from Kenya’s National Enviroment Management Authority (NEMA). When approved, it will later inhabit an 18-hole golf course, an airstrip and 80 cottages- 30 of which will be sold to further finance the project.
Owning holiday homes by tourists is a new concept in Kenyan Property market. While investors are already rushing to benefit from this oppoutunity, Kenya is hoping to gain from this new tourism attraction.
Wood who plans to tap judiciously into the golf-tourism market believes the golf resort will serve as an alternative to tourists visiting the nearby Game Reserve. He believes that the proposed golf resort will help restore the land around Mara.
“There is a big market for an alternative product for tourists; a golf resort will certainly raise the Mara’s profile,” said Mr Wood, adding that a new market niche of golfers is emerging out of the rapidly growing local middle income class.
Adding, “golf tourism is a huge product in several markets like South Africa.”
Although Kenya’s Tourist Board (KTB) has only started marketing the country as a golf destination, it hopes to beat Mauritius a smaller country, which attracts about 30,000 tourists annually.
Mike Macharia, the Chief Executive of Kenya Associaion of Hotel Keepers and Caterers believes kenya stands to gain alot from the golf-tourism venturs since it will compliment the game and beach tourism.