Golf Tourism is Highly Lucrative and Resilient

Golf Tourism is resilient

Golf Tourism represents the largest sports-related travel market and is considered the most potential instrument to boost tourism. Not surprising that both public and private sector on national, regional and local level try to attract these affluent, high-value-adding tourists who generate above-average per capita revenues for the destination.

According to Mintel International Group Golf Tourism is valued at US$30 Billion with over 52 million golf tourists traveling the world to play on some of the estimated 36,000+ courses. IAGTO, the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, suggests that 30 per cent of all golfers take annual golf holidays, 63 million golfing holidays are taken annually, generating a total value of about $ 30 billion.

Golf Travelers spend on average 2.5x times more than leisure tourists at the destination, only 25% is spent on golf.
CTTC and the National Golf Foundation revealed in a study about Travel to California that the average length of a trip of a domestic visitor is 3.6 days, whereas a golfer stays Golfers 4.6 days. Overseas golf travelers stay minimum 7 nights according to a survey conducted by Golf Travel Consulting with 135 international golf tour operators.  The difference in visitor spending between leisure tourist and golfer is even more significant. In California visiting golfers spend 2.8 times as much as typical visitors, throughout the supply chain (transportation, hotel, food and shopping).

In addition to the quantitative $$$ impact, Golf Tourism has ancilliary benefits that impact the destination in a positive way.

1) Many destinations prolong the season with golf tourism. Portugal, Spain, Turkey are just a few established golf destinations that have managed to minimizes the seasonality effect by developing a strong golf product.
2) Golf tourism adds value to the tourism products by enhancing and diversifying them with new activities, facilities & services.
3) Golf tourism contributes positively to the development and growth of certain sectors such as the Spa sector.
4) Golf tourism extends revenue from tourism ancillaries such as the meeting and incentive trade.
5) Golf Tourism improves the picture of the quality of the destination and positions the destination at a different level. The quality of tourism increases.
6) Golf Tourism is a lot more resilient than any other tourism segment, which may alter a destination´s path from decline to rejuvenation, particularly in challenging times.

To position a destination successfully as a golf destination and to maximize the economic impact on a destination level and hotel / golf / transportation …level, the entire tourism cluster needs to work together and speak with one voice internationally. A horizontally and vertically integrated strategy needs to be defined: Providing a strong product mix, delivering great value for money, harnessing the power of select golf tour operators in carefully defined markets, implementing clear and informative promotional strategies, executing activities and tactics effectively are the cornerstones to success!

TOPICS: Courses and Travel, Golf, Golf Tourism Development Tags: , , ,

ABOUT: Evelyn Gruber

Evelyn has passionately dedicated her life to serve the global golf tourism industry. She has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and built an amazing global network within this vertical in the past 26 years. The Austrian native founded her first golf travel business in the mid 90's. By implementing an innovative shop-in-shop concept with Europe´s leading golf store, Evelyn was able to grow her business into Austria´s largest golf tour operator before selling it in 2008. Since then, this passionate visionary has continued to work in golf tourism, albeit more on the consulting and coaching side to assist public and private tourism sectors succeed in the lucrative golf niche. This niche is the most profitable one as golfers spend 2.5. times as much as leisure tourists. In addition, it trumps with strong ancillary benefits and has proven to be the most resilient and sustainable vertical in crisis. On top of everything else, numbers of golfers - including youth golf - have been increasing significantly during the current pandemic. As a truly global citizen, Evelyn calls Europe, the US and Asia her home, as she has been commuting between these three continents for the past 15 years. This has helped her tremendously to develop a unique global understanding of the geopolitical business dynamics as well as the macro and micro-environment in the various markets, which she applies effectively when boosting international tourist arrivals & tourism spending for destinations. The Austrian is most likely one of the best traveled living golfers in Europe, having played more than 2000 courses in 89 countries in Europe, Australia, North America, Africa and Asia, including most of Golf Digest´s Top 100 Ballot Courses outside the US and Rolex 1000 Ballot Courses worldwide. Considered a leading expert in her field, Evelyn has also stayed in 1000s of hotels, and worked successfully with both private & public sector in global golf tourism. She understands the USP and value propositions of destinations and knows how to smartly communicate those to the most valuable target audiences in select key markets. Evelyn has a Masters degree in Sports Management, English & Business Administration and holds two diplomas for International Marketing from Harvard Business School. She still dedicates 3 hours a day to grow her skill-set and raise her standards. A strong background combined with expertise & connectivity is fundamental for success. It is, however, Evelyn´s dedication & passion that make her approach unrivaled. You will quickly notice that Golf Tourism is in her blood!

2 Responses to “Golf Tourism is Highly Lucrative and Resilient”

  1. Zaf Shaari

    I love your article and I appreciate your time and efforts to highlight the Golf Tourism industry. I would love to get some insights and your honest opinions on golfing in South East Asia and how best golf tourism can improve in this emerging market.
    Pls let me know how I can get in touch with you via email or a zoom call. Regards and cheers!


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