Fiona Hyslop MSP, cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, has launched Scottish Golf Tourism Week 2017, as Scotland aims to hit the £300m target for golf tourism.
Supported by VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Golf Tourism Week takes place 23-27 October and will bring leading international golf buyers to Scotland for a week of familiarisation trips and one-to-one meetings with golf tourism businesses from across the country.
A recent study put the value of golf tourism to Scotland at £286m per year, up from an estimated figure of £220m in 2007 and on track to achieve the £300m target by 2020 listed in Scotland’s Golf Tourism Strategy, Driving Forward Together.
Scottish Golf Tourism Week, introduced in 2016, aims to support this strategy by bringing over 70 of the world’s leading golf tour operators to Scotland for 3,500 face-to-face meetings with local golf businesses.
Launching the event during this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald, Hyslop said the Scottish golf industry as a whole was worth more than £1.1bn per year, supporting more than 20,000 jobs. “Even so, we know there is huge potential for growth.”
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, creating more opportunities than ever before for golf travellers to visit the country where the game began. 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 Scottish Golf Show.
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.”
He continued: “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 Scottish Golf Tourism Awards.