The economic impact of East Lothian hosting the Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open this year has been estimated at almost £5.5million, according to reports based on visitor surveys and ticket sales.
The ASI Scottish Open was held from July 11-15 at Gullane Golf Club and attracted 65,000 visitors. Of those surveyed, 13 per cent were from East Lothian, meaning that around 87 per cent of spectators were from outside the area. Overseas visitors came from Hong Kong, Canada, Oman, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland, South Africa, Portugal and the USA.
The overall net economic impact, including spending in shops and local facilities, plus hotel stays, for the Scottish Open has been estimated at just under £5million, while the ASI Scottish Ladies Open, which took place in Gullane from 25-29 July, attracted just over 10,000 visitors with a net economic impact of £900k.
Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “This is fantastic news and cements East Lothian’s reputation as Scotland’s Golf Coast. We were delighted to host these two tournaments this year and the fact they have brought in such a significant economic benefit makes it even more great news that East Lothian will be hosting both tournaments again in 2019. The comments from visitors who will return to East Lothian to play golf are especially welcome as it means the tournaments will continue to generate economic development for years to come, boosting trade for our wonderful golf courses and golf-related businesses including hotels, restaurants, cafes and local shops and visitor attractions.
Rory Colville, the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open Championship Director, said: “We are delighted to hear that the Scottish Open had such a strong impact on the East Lothian economy. We had overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who directly experienced the tournament, and it’s pleasing to hear that the high proportion of those who attended from outside of East Lothian benefitted the area to this extent. We hope that returning to Scotland’s Golf Coast in 2019 at The Renaissance Club continues to strengthen East Lothian’s reputation as an outstanding golfing destination.”
The 2019 ASI Scottish Open takes place from July 11-14, followed by the ASI Ladies Scottish Open from August 8-11, both at The Renaissance Club.