Wed 24 Oct 18
The third Scottish Golf Tourism Week tees off in St Andrews next week aiming to deliver millions of pounds worth of extra tourism business to Scotland.
The weeklong event is returning to the Fairmont at the Fife town, having hosted the first in 2016.
The five star resort will welcome delegates from around the world to the event, which runs from Monday 29 October for five days.
Last year’s event, which took place at Trump Turnberry in Ayrshire, was attended by tour operators representing 39 different countries and the organisers are hoping this year will top that.
The event aims to put Scotland’s leading golf businesses directly in front of some of the world’s top tour operators, creating more than 3,500 one-to-one meetings in the process.
“We’re now moving into our third Scottish Golf Tourism Week and as the figures suggest it’s growing arms and legs,’ says event organiser Tom Lovering.
“An economic impact study shows that from the meetings at the event last October alone the impact on the Scottish golf tourism industry by 2020 is £14.4 million.
“We started off with 60 exhibitors then went to 75 and this year it’s probably going to be 100 – that’s 100 individual businesses in Scotland that are now able to engage with international tour operators. Prior to that there were few ways to engage and you were talking about only 10 or 15 businesses that would engage with the tour operators.
“What we’ve done is to really open up an avenue for the tour operators to know a lot more about golf in Scotland, a lot more about hotels, a lot more about a number of the courses that we have as well as affiliated businesses: transport providers and such like.”
In addition to the meeting his company have organised around 1,000 familiarisation trips across the country from Turnberry in Ayrshire to Dornoch in Sutherland.
“For two days at the end of October they will be all over the country looking at all of these different facilities,” Lovering said.
He said the aim was to deliver a platform “where Scottish businesses can present themselves to an international audience in the most coordinated and professional way possible".
“The intention for this legacy event is to build relationships which will drive golf tourism business into Scotland for years to come.”
Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, added: “I’m delighted to see Scottish Golf Tourism Week returning to an iconic location in golf’s spiritual home of St Andrews and look forward to Scotland welcoming the world’s leading international golf tour operators to experience our golf tourism product first hand.
“Scottish Golf Tourism Week is a unique opportunity for a broad range of golf tourism businesses from across Scotland to engage with leading buyers from around the world, helping more businesses to internationalise and continue to grow Scotland’s vital visitor economy.”
Golf tourism is a vital part of Scotland’s visitor economy, contributing in excess of £286 million to the country on an annual basis with the likes of golf courses, accommodation providers, bars, restaurants, retail and tourist attractions all benefiting from the strength of Scotland’s golf tourism product.
Susan Beattie, head of tourism at Scottish Development International, said: “With 14 entries in the world’s top 100 courses, Scotland consistently punches above its weight as a global golfing destination.
“Scottish Golf Tourism Week brings the international specialist golf trade to Scotland where 80 companies will have the opportunity to present their international offer to around 70 overseas tour operators.”