By Chris Johnston
FIONA HYSLOP MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, has launched Scottish Golf Tourism Week 2017, as Scotland aims to hit the £300MILLION target for golf tourism.
Supported by VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Golf Tourism Week takes place from October 23-27 and brings the world’s leading golf buyers to Scotland for an exceptional week of familiarisation trips and one to one meetings with golf tourism businesses from across the country.
A recent study highlighted the value of golf tourism to Scotland at £286m per year, an increase from the 2007 figure of £220m and on track to achieve the £300m target by 2020 listed in Scotland’s Golf Tourism Strategy, Driving Forward Together.
Scottish Golf Tourism Week, which was successfully introduced in 2016, aims to support this strategy by bringing over 70 of the world’s leading golf tour operators to Scotland to meet more than 80 golf tourism businesses interested in attracting visiting golfers. The result will be more than 3,500 face-to-face meetings with the potential to significantly increase the 220,000 golf tourists visiting Scotland annually.
Launching the event during this year’s Scottish Open at Dundonald, Hyslop said: “I am delighted to formally launch Scottish Golf Tourism Week 2017. This event plays a key role in our drive to firmly establish Scotland as the world’s leading golf destination.
As a whole, the Scottish golf industry is worth more than £1.1 billion per year, supporting more than 20,000 jobs, with golf tourism contributing £286 million but even so, we know there is huge potential for growth. Our Driving Forward Together’ strategy is the roadmap for achieving golf tourism growth in Scotland, reaching £300million by 2020.”
Golf tourists are an important driver for Scotland’s visitor economy, with research showing that golfers from overseas will spend on average 4.5 times more per day than a regular tourist and for every £1 spent on playing golf, £5 is spent elsewhere in Scotland’s economy, including accommodation, food & drink, retail and other tourism attractions.
Scotland’s national tourism organisation, VisitScotland, describes Scottish Golf Tourism Week as a ‘game changer’ for golf tourism businesses in Scotland. Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “Last year’s inaugural Scottish Golf Tourism Week showed that Scotland can change the way it engages with global golf tour operators and buyers.
“This year’s event will be even larger, with the potential for up to 3,500 business meetings, as well as familiarisation trips for over 70 tour operators coming to Scotland from Scandinavia, North America, Europe and Asia.”
The week is organised by PSP Media Group, who also run the successful Scottish Golf Show, as a way of giving more Scottish businesses, particularly those who do not have the resources to attend overseas events, unparalleled access to global tour operators and buyers.
Tom Lovering, Commercial Director at PSP Media, said: “Scotland is the first country in the world to bring golf tourism businesses and global buyers together on home soil, allowing an outstanding golfing product to speak for itself. We are determined to support the drive to grow Scotland’s golf industry, increasing the 220,000 golf tourists who come to Scotland annually.
“Scottish businesses are offered the chance to exhibit on an individual basis at the event, where they have the opportunity to meet each of the buyers face-to-face. For some of the smaller businesses, this is a unique opportunity to engage with key tour operators at an event of this scale.”
As part of the focus on Ayrshire as a golfing destination, this year’s Scottish Golf Tourism Week will take place at Turnberry. As well as one to one meetings and familiarisation trips, there will also be seminars and networking opportunities throughout the week, culminating in the prestigious Scottish Golf Tourism Awards.
Tom Lovering, director of event organisers PSP Media Group, concluded: “As organisers of Scottish Golf Tourism Week, we appreciate the importance of golf tourism to the whole of the Scottish economy and we have no-doubt that, with each successive year, this event will add several millions to an already buoyant market place. Last year’s inaugural Week was a resounding success and 2017 is shaping up to be even bigger and better.”
For more information on the 2017 Scottish Golf Tourism Week, visit scottishgolftourismweek.co.uk