Why can be golf tour operators optimistic?

By: October 8, 2015

Today is the last day of the International Golf Travel Market. So I thought to share with you some interesting insights about the golf tourism industry.

Golf tour operators reported that the number of golfers they carried between January and March was up by 8% and rose 5% between April and June, both compared with the same period of 2014. The number of outbound trips globally increased by a robust 4.5% in 2014.

That surge was mirrored among IAGTO golf courses and hotels; they saw golf visitor arrivals grow by 7.2% on average for the first six months of 2015.

As of the beginning of July, golf tour operators reported that forward bookings were up 6.7% year on year, while golf courses and hotels were seeing an increase in forward bookings of 4.6%. This is totally in line with the global tourism trends.  In 2015, the tourism consultancy IPK International expects global travel to increase again by about 4-5% in terms of outbound trips. I think the growth could be driven by the continued recovering US market and the steadily growing Chinese market. Europe is recovering at a lower pace. 


“Globally, IAGTO golf tour operator sales grew by 9.3% in 2012, 11.1% in 2013 and by 8.9% in 2014. We can now confidently assert that 2015 will be the fourth year of consecutive growth,” said IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton.

IAGTO is intending to launch a new service in January 2016 that would enable any of its member golf destinations to track the number of rounds played by golf visitors on a month-by-month basis, having helped numerous destination track international golf visitor arrival numbers and after pooling the knowledge and experience gained from those individual projects.

Morocco had the most promising golf tourism strategy project:

At the Hassan II Trophy in Agadir in March 2015, Morocco’s tourism and golf bodies staged a golf tourism forum at which they announced that the country would continue for a second year the implementation of IAGTO’s golf tourism strategy, signing an agreement with IAGTO partner, the Golf Environment Organization, with a view to developing a countrywide sustainability plan.