Global Edition

Top international speakers at South African Golf Summit

8.26am 17th April 2008 - Exhibitions & Conferences

International golf, tourism and business experts will be sharing their knowledge with delegates to the third annual South African Golf Summit at Fancourt this weekend (20th to 23rd April).

Fancourt marketing director Kwakye Donkor said, “These speakers are from countries with strong golf traditions where the sport and its related industries play a major role in their economies. The summit will be hosting three representatives from the United States, two from Ireland, four from England and one from Wales. Together they represent a wealth of information and experience that can only benefit South Africa.

“We are also excited about the international television coverage that we will be getting from Sub-Saharan Africa’s international business news channel CNBC. We believe the international exposure can open many doors for golf in South Africa and will ultimately benefit all related industries such as tourism and support services,” said Donkor.

Gill Wilson, CEO of the Central European Countries Travel Association (Cecta) and managing director of Rye Hill Golf Club, will be chairing a panel discussion with Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool on the topic of broadening the base of the golf industry. Wilson is also the co-founder of FIRSTGOLF®, an initiative that enables more affordable, available and sustainable golf.

Wilson said FIRSTGOLF® was working with the Western Cape government to create a public-private partnership that could broaden the base of golf to include the previously disadvantaged and would be officially launched at the summit.

“Although golf is viewed as an elite sport, it is it increasingly contributing to the development of local economies and better domestic household incomes. This is a positive step that galvanises government, the golf industry and commercial partners to ‘put something back‘ into growing the game and getting children from all walks of life ‘off the couch’ and onto the playing field,” said Wilson.

Matt McNulty, former Ireland tourism director general, chairman of Design Ireland and expert in connecting tourism and golf, will be addressing the summit on golf as a building block for development in a modern day economy using examples from Dubai and Las Vegas.

“Golf is emerging as the only activity that ticks all the boxes in terms of strategic trends and lifestyle for the future. It is not just a game; it is perhaps the greatest of all leisure industries because it is a competitive activity for all stages of life. No successful destination can exist without golf – it is that important as a motivator and life style activity. It has challenged desert destinations like Dubai and Las Vegas but these challenges have been met despite the cost because of the importance of golf to key demographic groups.

“Golf is very successful because it is related directly to the powerful health trend. It is an activity that engages the mind, body and competitive spirit in an excellent natural environment with social interaction. It is therefore the most strategic lifetime activity in the world,” said McNulty.

The full conference programme can be viewed at

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