In Ayrshire and Arran they are ready to walk the extra mile to boost their golf tourism. Ayrshire and Arran has over 40 courses including the Open venues of Royal Troon and Trump Turnberry and the birthplace of the Open, Prestwick Golf Club.
Golf is worth £29.5m to the south west of Scotland. This is why Ayrshire Golf Scotland, a regional golf development group was created to maximize golf tourism in this region.
The success of this initiative is not trivial as golf tourism is a major contributor to Scotland's economy. The estimated annual revenue from golf tourism is cca. £220 million. Golf tourism gives livelihood for 4400 people. VisitScotland believes that by end of this decade the Scottish golf tourism will be able to generate £300 million for the Scottish economy.
I wouldn't say that Scotland should worry and particularly Ayrshire and Aran that host such major events such as The Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, Ricoh Ladies British Open at Trump Turnberry in 2015 and the return of The Open at Royal Troon in 2016.
However at the same time they have to tackle with:
- Diversify the sources of golfing visitors. According to my sources UK (70%) is still the largest source of golfing visitors in Scotland.
- To keep up interest in links courses.
- How long can we live from claiming: Scotland is "The home of golf" & "Golf is in our DNA".
- Adapt to golfers' new lifestyle that is much more dynamic than in the past. Namely what can I do in Scotland if I am not just want to play golf?
- How to provide customized experience
- Adapting latest technology solutions (e.g. online booking, social and mobile technology)
- facilitating cooperation between golf courses etc.
I hope in the near future we will see the results of the recently launched "Our golf, your way" marketing initiative by the new regional golf development group. The new regional golf development group Ayrshire Golf Scotland has just launched its “Our golf, your way” marketing initiative aimed at promoting the region as a premier golf destination to a global audience.