Golfers in the UK are being offered the chance to discover some of the best-kept golfing secrets in Ireland at a fraction of the cost with the launch of an exciting new initiative aimed at delivering quality golf packages at great value prices.
Established by a group of golf clubs, resorts, hotels and travel operators, Club Choice Ireland was formally launched by the Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, in November and held its UK consumer launch on 31st January at Marriott St. Pierre Hotel & Country Club.
The new organisation has the backing of Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland and has been set up to raise awareness of Ireland’s south, east and midlands regions as premier golfing locations by providing a one-stop shop for golfers booking Irish golf breaks from the south-west and Midlands areas of England and Wales.
Following the launch, Club Choice Ireland’s 29 trade partners and golf clubs will embark on an aggressive marketing campaign which will include direct visits to UK golf clubs, a series of Irish golf days in England and Wales, advertising, e-marketing, a dedicated website and media and travel trade familiarisation trips aimed at attracting 1,500 additional visitors to the regions.
Speaking at the launch of Club Choice Ireland, David Boyce, head of business and sports tourism for Tourism Ireland GB, said: “Sport, and golf in particular, continues to play a major role in attracting visitors, both new and old, to Ireland and we’re delighted to give our support to this new venture.
“The recent success of the likes of Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke means that golf has never been so popular, and this is a fantastic way of showcasing great courses that may be less well known in the UK and driving new business to this part of the country.”
The group is the first co-operative group of its kind to be set up in the Irish regions and Tiernan Byrne, Club Choice Ireland’s managing director, added: “We are indebted to both Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland for their practical and financial support.
“As a region, it was clear that a co-operative approach to marketing and attracting golfers from overseas was the most efficient and cost-effective means of showcasing all we have to offer to a very specific target audience in the UK.
“We will be focusing on quality, value and ease of access to attract the extra number of golfers to come to our target area which, based on Fáilte Ireland’s own figures, will result in an additional €2m spend in the regions.”
Club Choice Ireland will provide a one-stop-shop for golf breaks to south-east Ireland with all trade partners and golf clubs providing unbeatable rates. With no middle person involved, golfers will feel the benefit of dealing with one point of contact, but without any hidden commissions or charges as the group is providing a service by its members, for its members.
Packages can be tailored to suit the needs of any group including golf, accommodation, food and ferry travel, accessing Club Choice Ireland’s attractive list of venues couldn’t be easier with travel partner Stena Line providing excellent ferry links to Dublin and Rosslare Port, along with exclusive rates for all customers.
Club Choice Ireland’s current list of 29 members is made up of golf resorts, hotels and golf clubs drawn from across the golfing sector, whilst also critical to the success of the group is the commitment of travel trade partner Stena Line which will be providing travel support and prizes for competitions being run in the UK.
The programme of marketing activities will begin immediately with the dates and locations of the initial Irish golf days listed below. During the coming months, the group will visit 120 golf clubs in the UK talking directly to golfing enthusiasts with an interest in golfing overseas.
Club Choice Ireland www.clubchoiceireland.com