“As the acknowledged Home of Golf, Scotland has a tremendous advantage in bidding for the Ryder Cup in 2009,” says Gavin Hastings, Scotland’s former International Rugby Captain, whose company is assisting the Scottish Executive with the preparations for Scotland’s Ryder Cup bid. “That’s why we, and the Scottish Executive, have combined our efforts with the Scottish Tourist Board, Scottish Enterprise and Sport Scotland – together with the five venues: Carnoustie, Gleneagles, Loch Lomond, St Andrews and Turnberry – to put together a bid which draws on the considerable efforts that these organisations are making, and plan to make, for golf, and which we believe will win the Ryder Cup for Scotland.”
Thanks to the generosity and support of Scotland’s championship venues, “Scotland – the Home of Golf” boards have been visible at all this year’s events.Graham Birse, Director of External Communications for the Scottish Tourist Board, said: “The Championship venues have been tremendously helpful in providing us with visibility at televised events for little or no cost. This gets our campaign off to a tremendous start and demonstrates the sort of teamwork and commitment to Scottish golf which is also the basis for our bid to bring the 2009 Ryder Cup to Scotland.”
Statistics issued by the Scottish Tourist Board demonstrate the importance of tourism which is one of Scotland’s largest industries. It employs 177,000 (8% of the workforce and 15% of the Highlands & Islands workforce) and it injects £2.47 billion annually into the Scottish economy. Tourism pays the wages of more people than the oil, gas and whisky industries combined and employs over four times more than agriculture/fishing. For every £1 the STB spends on promotion, £6 is generated in return.
Scotland’s bid for the 2009 Ryder Cup was given a flying start in July when Henry McLeish, Minister for Enterprise & Lifelong Learning and Rhona Brankin, Deputy Minister for Culture and Sport, teamed up with Europe’s top golfer, Colin Montgomerie, to announce a new approach to golf tourism in Scotland. The Scottish Tourist Board declared its intention to “re-affirm Scotland’s credentials as The Home of Golf” and backed its words with the announcement of a £500,000 new investment in golf promotion.