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New Golf Course for Ibiza?

A new golf course for Ibiza to promote 'quality tourism' is being debated...

Despite there already being a golf club on Ibiza, discussions are currently underway concerning the creation of a new golf course.

Three possible locations are in the frame; one site situated between Cala Conta and Cala Tarida on the west coast of the island, another in Benimussa in-between San Jose and San Antonio, and finally one in Playa d'en Bossa on the south coast of Ibiza…which is the only one of the three so far to have officially applied for planning permission.

The developer, Grupo Empresas Matutes (hosts to the newly-opened, upmarket Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel and Ushuaia Tower) has plans for an eighteen-hole public golf course with driving range and golf school.

Ibiza has never been known for its golf, unlike its larger neighbour, Mallorca, whose twenty-four golf courses provide much direct and indirect income for the island. It is felt that Ibiza could be missing out, and a new golf course would be a good way of boosting the tourism industry, especially off-season.

Of course, many environmental concerns have been raised, in particular the ecological cost to a UNESCO world heritage island. The amount of energy needed to desalinate the copious amounts of seawater required, the fertilisers and chemicals needed to keep the "greens" green, along with the general maintenance and upkeep are amongst the issues being raised by environmentalists and concerned citizens alike.

That said, according to a survey from the Balearic Institute for Advanced Social Studies - a survey commissioned by the developers, Grupo Empresas Matutes themselves - 68% of Ibizans were in favour of a golf course in Playa d'en Bossa, believing that it would increase quality tourism.

The debate will doubtless rumble for quite some time yet...

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