STRUGGLING Costa Blanca golf courses that depend on foreign players to stay in business are calling for the sport to be classified as a ‘tourist activity’ to qualify for EU financial aid.

Angel Llopes, head of the Costa Blanca and Valencian Community Golf Course Association said:

“It’s amazing that golf tourism is not officially recognised as a tourist activity as 75 per cent of the players come on golfing holidays to the area.”

40 per cent of golf tourists on the Costa Blanca are from the UK and with the combination of the pandemic and 14-day quarantine rules, that number has been reduced to a tiny trickle.

In normal times, golf is said to generate around €745 million per annum in the Valencian Community, which includes indirect income for sectors like accommodation, car hire, restaurants and shops.

“Any plans for safe air corridors should take account of the region’s 20 golf courses and we need the sport to get tourist recognition so that we can get European aid,” Llopes added.

Figures from the Alicante Chamber of Commerce indicate that golf directly and indirectly accounts for 0.7 per cent of the area’s Gross Domestic Product.

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