An action-packed week of 2014 Ryder Cup activity has ensured that Scottish tourism and events will be big winners for years to come as Scotland reinforces its position as the home of golf.
Many Scottish golf clubs, tour operators and accommodation providers, including those beyond the immediate area, have reported an increase in bookings across 2014 and some are reporting being 50% up on last year.
New feedback from VisitScotland’s industry partners shows that pre-booked tee times, advanced bookings for golf and sightseeing tours, and hotel bookings have grown significantly in comparison with 2013 thanks to The Ryder Cup effect. Accommodation providers in Perthshire, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Glasgow and across Scotland reported a bumper week for The 2014 Ryder Cup and a continuing increase in interest in golf for future bookings.
In addition, Scottish businesses involved in the wider supply chain linked with major events in Scotland have received a huge boost, with The 2014 Ryder Cup delivering an opportunity to enhance skills and experience of working with a major international event of this scale. It is estimated that 5,000 people have been employed on projects directly related to the event, with many more benefitting through the supply chain across a range of industries.
That experience of working with a world-class event on this scale will help Scottish businesses continue to lead the way as Scotland looks to 2015 and beyond with an envied portfolio of major sporting events on the horizon, including six Major Championships in golf alone in the next four years.
Overall, it is estimated that golf tourism is worth £220m to Scotland annually, supporting around 4,400 jobs. Scotland attracts around 220,000 golfing visitors annually, while an estimated 92,000 ‘regular’ visitors to Scotland will also play golf whilst on holiday.
VisitScotland has developed a worldwide two million pound marketing campaign which will reinforce Scotland’s position as the home of golf and reach millions of potential visitors. The campaign which has been building over the last year, includes a major welcome to visitors coming to the event through an outdoor campaign, international and UK & Ireland marketing and promotional activity and TV partnerships which will be seen across the globe.
As well as the millions who have seen VisitScotland’s marketing activity, The 2014 Ryder Cup is estimated to reach television audiences of over half a billion, with stunning images of Scotland being beamed worldwide providing the equivalent of £40m in direct marketing benefit.
Since 2003 VisitScotland has supported a total of 55 golf events in Scotland as part of The Ryder Cup qualifying investment programme and attended and marketed Scotland as the Home of Golf at more than 50 international events. Hosting such events not only generates millions for the economy, but they also continue to strengthen Scotland’s position as The Home of Golf
VisitScotland delivered its biggest ever golf exhibition stand at The Ryder Cup to continue selling the benefits of a golfing trip to Scotland and ensure a warm Scottish welcome to the spectator village at Gleneagles.
Scottish businesses were also given an unprecedented opportunity to win contracts related to The Ryder Cup thanks to the creation of The 2014 Ryder Cup Procurement Portal. In a unique collaboration between public and private organisations, all Ryder Cup procurement opportunities were open to more than 60,000 businesses through the Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) portal.
VisitScotland Chairman Mike Cantlay said: “The tourism and events industry has embraced 2014 and The Ryder Cup has provided a much needed boost to local businesses – the fact that we are hearing of that benefit spreading far and wide is very encouraging.
“I cannot emphasise enough the massive benefits this event will bring to Scotland – not just now but for years to come. Golf tourism is worth over £220million to the Scottish economy and The Ryder Cup has enabled us to firmly cement Scotland as THE Home of Golf.
“Equally, for those businesses involved in major events and the wider supply chain, The 2014 Ryder Cup has not only delivered in terms of contracts won but in the skills and experience gained to ensure Scotland has the expertise to continue to host major international events long into the future.”