Where are Costa Brava’s growing opportunities?

By: May 20, 2016

Early this year, I have already written about that the Costa Brava region is celebrating its ‘Year of Golf 2016‘. However, I thought to give you update on Costa Brava region’s golf tourism performance and tourism trends:

  1. Golf travelers to the area have increased to more than 103,000 over the past two years.
  2. 67% growth in European golfers to the region between 2013 and 2015, driven by visitors from France, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands (source: Costa Brava Tourism Board). These golf travelers made up almost 50% of the golf tourists to Costa Brava. The significant number of UK golf travelers can be also explained by the weak Euro vs the British Pound. The German economy is the fastest growing in the G7.
  3. Based on the findings of Google Trends, I expect more tourists this year from Russia.
  4. Google Trends also confirms the findings of the Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board that there is a significant domestic market.: Girona, Barcelona, Madrid and Zaragoza are the key sources of the domestic tourism. 43% of the golf travelers were from the regions of the previously mentioned cities. The Catalan golf travelers‘ number grew by 400% in the past 2 years to 26,000.
  5. Ramón Ramos, Director of the Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board is expecting further growth of golf tourism thanks to the new flight routes of Jet2, Transavia and Ryanair to Girona-Costa Brava Airport for 2016-2017.
  6. Collaborative economy: Although many of us still prefer to stay in a hotel right next to the golf course, we should not neglect the growing popularity of the “living like a local” phenomenon (this is one of the reasons why Airbnb is so popular). We are looking more for unique experiences that even the best hotel/resort cannot provide.
  7. Costa Brava hotels should accept that people have different travel style. This means hotels should fit one of the most typical personal travel styles.
  8. Launching “companion mobile applications” could enhance the brand experience of local hotels and golf clubs (e.g. smartphone check-in, the smartphone as rook key etc.). Software Advice‘s survey found that 60% of their respondents are “more likely” to choose a hotel that allows guests to check in and open doors with a smartphone than a hotel that doesn’t.
  9. Price comparison site TravelSupermarket found Costa Brava as the most attractive short break destination.
  10. Statistics from Costa Brava’s 2016 Vivid wine festival also showed a growth in visitor numbers, increasing 27% year-on-year, and generating an economic impact of almost €500,000.

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