Golf tourism in Ayrshire is set for a major boost in the coming weeks with the staging of two high profile events that will be watched by tens of millions of potential visitors from around the world.
Dundonald Links is creating history this month by hosting the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open – the first time both event have been held at the same venue in quick succession.
And both events follow hot on the heels of The 145th Open, held at Royal Troon in 2016, meaning the Ayrshire coastline will have benefitted from three world-class events in the space of just a year.
Both the men’s and ladies Scottish Opens will be shown live around the world, with the Scottish Open screened on 133 channels to a potential audience of more than 500 million homes. Images of the world’s best players playing on the stunning Ayrshire coastline will entice even more visitors to come to Scotland to experience it for themselves.
A recent study commissioned by VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise revealed that golf tourism is worth in excess of £17 million annually to the Ayrshire economy, directly supporting 437 jobs. But when a major championship is hosted in the region, this figure can spike with The Open in 2016 alone generating almost £23 million for Ayrshire.
Golf tourism is a major economic driver for Scotland with golf visitors from overseas spending on average more than 4 times that of a regular visitor, generating £286 million for the country annually. Ayrshire is seen as a key region for golf in Scotland with the recent study also finding that 81 per cent of golf tourists to Ayrshire stayed for at least one night, higher than the national average of 65 per cent.
The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open are part of a world-class portfolio of annual golf events supported in Scotland by the EventScotland team within VisitScotland’s events directorate. The support of golf events is a key strand of Scotland’s National Events Strategy, The Perfect Stage and brings numerous economic, marketing and social benefits to the country.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “This is a fantastic time for golf tourism businesses in Ayrshire with so many great golf events taking place, promoting the region to millions of potential visitors from around the globe. The memories of Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson battling it out during the final round of The Open at Royal Troon last year are still fresh in the memory and we look forward to more memories being made this week at Dundonald for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and in a few weeks for the Ladies Scottish Open.
“These events undoubtedly cement Scotland’s reputation globally as the Home of Golf but they also provide a welcome boost to the host regions through both economic and marketing benefits associated with global events.
“Research has shown that many spectators will return to a region to play golf after having attended an event while for those watching worldwide on TV, an event can inspire them to visit a particular course or region.”
“And for every £1 spent by a golfing visitor on green fees, £5 is spent elsewhere across the visitor economy in shops, restaurants and bars which highlights the importance of golf tourism to regional economies.”
The study into the Value of Golf Tourism to Scotland’s Economy was conducted by Progressive Partnership and SQW. More details, including regional breakdowns, can be found by visiting: http://www.visitscotland.org/research_and_statistics/tourism_sectors/golf.aspx
Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open www.aamscottishopen.com
Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open www.ladiesscottishopen.com