After 10 years of working for and with the golf industry in East Lothian, Allan Minto – ‘Mr Golf East Lothian’ – is moving on to new ventures
In the time that Allan has been with East Lothian, the golf tourism industry has made real and significant progress and is now seen as an exemplar to which other golfing areas should aspire.
Commenting on the current situation of golf in East Lothian, Allan said, “East Lothian has performed exceptionally well compared to other areas of Scotland with much of that success is down to the formation of the East Lothian Golf Tourism Alliance. The Alliance is a membership organization comprising businesses from golf courses to accommodation providers and from tours operators to golf schools. Membership now stands at over 50.”
Three years a go a major rebranding exercise resulted in the creation of ‘Scotland’s GolfCoast’. This has proved a great success and has helped raise awareness of the region. East Lothian now attracts business from further afield than in previous years demonstrating the reach of the brand.
The coastal courses in particular have healthy memberships and attract good levels of visitor play. It helps enormously that the area’s courses are predominantly links offering good playing conditions for most of the year.
The area looked fantastic during a very successful Open Championship at Muirfield earlier this year. Spectacular aerial shots of the coastline beamed into homes across the world, generated a surge in interest for the area, Traffic to golfeastlothian.com achieved almost as many unique visitors in July than it did throughout the whole of 2010.
Clubs are already reporting excellent advance bookings for next season.
It is great news to see the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open confirm their return to Archerfield again in August 2014 and the area is excited by the prospect of the European Tour hosting the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in East Lothian in 2015 or 2017.
Both Gullane No.1 and Renaissance Club have been muted as potential venues and both would be fitting hosts, providing players with superb preparation for the following week’s Open Championship.
East Lothian wholeheartedly supports the Scottish Open coming to the area and will provide assistance to the sponsors and tournament organisers to ensure that the Championship is a success. The area has seen the benefits that go along with hosting major events in recent years and is keen to continue the momentum ensuring that not only golf businesses but the wider economy reap the rewards.
Having established East Lothian as a top golf destination, Allan decided to seek new challenges and, with Elaine Carmichael, has set up a consultancy, The Square Route Partnership, with a focus on business development for the golf and tourism industry.
From January 2014 he will also take up the position of Golf Project Manager with Golf Perthshire where he will be working with a new industry group to develop Perthshire’s golf offering.
“I am very proud to have been a key part in the growth of East Lothian’s golf industry and to be leaving it in such a strong position. I am also looking forward to working with the industry in Perthshire in the New Year. There are certainly great opportunities for that region especially as it hosts The Ryder Cup in September 2014,” said Allan.
The Square Route Partnership www.squareroutepartnership.com