Team Wales is set to exploit this year’s Ryder Cup in Ireland to ensure Wales gets maximum benefit from the world class event in 2010.
The team made up of Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Ltd, Welsh Assembly Government, and prominent Welsh companies will travel to the K-Club near Dublin to learn from the Irish event, raise Wales’ profile among an international audience and host key business contacts from around the world.
The Welsh contingent will be assessing the Ireland Ryder Cup in terms of infrastructure, TV and media coverage, opening and closing ceremonies, accommodation and suppliers to ensure that the 2010 tournament in Wales runs smoothly. A working group including emergency services from across south Wales and Newport City Council is already visiting the Irish host venue in advance of the tournament to review the logistical plans.
John Jermine, chairman of Ryder Cup Wales, said, “We would like to thank the Irish organisers for sharing their plans with us and we will be monitoring all the key data throughout the tournament to help our own planning for 2010.”
To raise the profile of Wales, a packed programme of networking events including a Wales themed evening and a golf day have been arranged, with world class baritone Bryn Terfel, rugby star Ieuan Evans and former Welsh Ryder Cup captain Brian Huggett attending as ambassadors for Wales. The Dinner will allow international guests to sample Welsh cuisine, such as Penclawdd Cockles and Laverbread Fritters.
First Minister Rhodri Morgan and Andrew Davies, Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks will lead International Business Wales in hosting top international business people at the tournament, to help attract inward investment to Wales.
First Minister, Rhodri Morgan, said,: “The Ryder Cup is broadcast into 350 million homes in 40 countries and covered by 1,000 journalists around the world, That’s why hosting one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events is such a great opportunity for Wales. It will not only bring millions into the Welsh economy but also develop the nation’s image as a business and cultural centre and put Wales on the global map.
“Getting The 2010 Ryder Cup to come to The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our country to show the world what we have to offer. This year’s Ryder Cup at the K-Club allows us to see at first-hand how an event of this magnitude is organised. I know Ireland will do a terrific job but we‘ll be pulling out all the stops to top the success of this year’s tournament!”
Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks, Andrew Davies, said, “The Ryder Cup in Wales is not just a three day golf match in Newport, but a golden opportunity to further enhance the international reputation of Wales in key markets such as Europe, USA and Japan. Our recent golf monitor survey revealed that nearly 155,000 golfers played in Wales in 2005 spending just under £24m. With some 200 courses in Wales – three of which are ranked in the top 100 courses in the world outside the US – we‘re confident that this number will rise even further in the lead up to and following 2010, which can only be good news for our tourism sector and good news for Wales.”
Among the Welsh businesses benefiting from the Team Wales events are South Caernarfon Creameries of Gwynedd who will be meeting with Irish based, Kerry Foods, one of the largest dairy food producers of its kind, to discuss future opportunities.
Richard Elmitt, managing director of South Caernarfon Creameries, said,: “As a major employer in rural Wales, we must continuously look for opportunities to add value and attract new opportunities. The Ryder Cup is an important event for us in terms of developing our relationship with a key customer. We supply Kerry Foods with a sizeable proportion of our cheese production and being able to meet them and discuss current and future trade opportunities is critical to us.
“Undertaking such a relationship-building opportunity alongside other Welsh companies and in the presence of Assembly Government Ministers helps add weight to our presence and increases our profile with existing and potentially new clients.”
Also attending is Jon Horne, managing director of Cardiff International Airport, who will be linking up with representatives from Zoom airlines and Aer Arann, who will fly team Wales to and from Ireland.
John Horne said, “ “The Ryder Cup is much more than just three days of golf – it is an event of global significance. Cardiff International Airport and the airlines that serve Wales recognise Ryder Cup 2010 as supporting international awareness, generating travel and creating fantastic business networking opportunities. Thanks to the events being staged by Team Wales in Ireland, this process can begin four years earlier.”
The Welsh tourism industry is set to benefit greatly from The 2010 Ryder Cup and Visit Wales is ensuring all opportunities are exploited. At the Ireland Ryder Cup they will be entertaining US tour operators, including Carlson Leisure, one of the biggest leisure companies in the world, managed by Welshman Mike Batt and linking with cruise ship operators to encourage more cruise visits to Wales. US journalists will also be enjoying golf trips in Wales organised by Visit Wales before being flown across the Irish Sea for The Ryder Cup.
Visit Wales will also be manning a Wales stand at The Ryder Cup Village in the K-Club and will be launching their new golf brochures and adverts.
Ryder Cup Wales 2010 www.rydercupwales2010.com