Ayrshire and Arran has a world-class golf offer that spans from its internationally renowned Open Championship courses with unique heritage, through to relaxed, accessible holiday golf experiences set in fabulous landscapes. This offer is already a core strength and attractor for large numbers of high-yield visitors. However, there is a growing level of competition from many other destinations and development activity is required to stay ahead of the competition.
Golf is a hugely popular sport around the world. Over the last 20 years, the number of registered golfers in Europe according to KPMG has increased from 1.5 million to 4.4 million in 2011. There are over 32,000 golf courses to choose from worldwide and according to Mintel (Leisure Intelligence 2009), approximately 56 million golfers play on them. Mintel also estimated that in 2009 over 63 million golfing holidays were taken, with a total value of £16.4 billion.
The Tourism Team will work in partnership with key agencies such as Golf Tourism Scotland, Scottish Golf Union, VisitScotland, EventScotland and Scottish Enterprise to deliver a range of initiatives spanning product and business development, marketing, research, and industry collaboration to meet these challenges.
Already much has been achieved to improve the golf offer in the region. During 2013, research into the Ayrshire & Arran golf product was undertaken and a business plan and marketing plan created. A new regional golf industry partnership was created and company formed in 2014. This led to the appointment of Jamie Darling as Golf Tourism Officer for the company which trades as Ayrshire Golf Scotland.
Moving forward, the tourism team will continue to support Ayrshire Golf Scotland as well as take a lead on coordinating a professional exhibition presence at all the key golfing events over the next few years. Ayrshire & Arran will be promoted and showcased at several major golf tournaments; Trump Turnberry – Women’s British Golf Open 2015, The Open – St Andrews 2015 and The Open – Troon 2106.
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