The Volvo World Match play will take place at Bulgaria’s striking Gary Player-designed Thracian Cliffs in 2013 as part of a strategic course rotation announced by Volvo and IMG.

The last three Volvo World Matchplay Championships have been held at Finca Cortesin, but the move away from Spain signals the start of a new rotation around the world.

The tournament – staged next year between May 16-19 – will mark the first time a full European Tour event has been played in the Balkan state.

Volvo and IMG will work closely with the Bulgarian Government and the Bulgarian Golf Association to deliver a first-class tournament.

“This is a real coup for Bulgaria,” said Boyko Borisov, the country’s president.

“The vast media coverage will deliver a reputable boost for Bulgaria and our tourism industry. The recent growth of golf in our country will be showcased around the world.”

Krassimir Guergov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Golf Association, added: “This is just the most amazing news and I’m delighted Bulgaria has been able to demonstrate its credentials to Volvo, IMG and the European Tour.”

The championship – won this year by Nicolas Colsaerts – will see 24 players divided into eight groups of three, with the top 16 progressing to Saturday’s knock-out stage. The semi-finals and final will take place on Sunday.

Per Ericsson, President of Volvo Event Management, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Bulgarian Government and the Bulgarian Golf Association and are thrilled they have committed their support to this prestigious and historic championship.”

Guy Kinnings, IMG’s Global co-Managing Director, added: “IMG’s business interests in Eastern Europe, and Bulgaria in particular, have really developed in the last decade, and bringing such a globally significant tournament to the region was always an ambition.”