A new survey has revealed that Italy is the number one destination for travellers in 2018 and things are looking just as promising for Italian golf, with latest figures showing that the number of international green fees booked has risen by 40 per cent in the last three years.
Recent research for the 2017 World Travel Market has found that six out of ten UK people would prefer to visit Italy rather than the likes of the US, Greece and Spain, and the country’s golf courses are experiencing a boom with players eager to experience the new star of European golf tourism.
With Italy Golf & More – the first pan-Italian international promotional golf project – leading the way, and momentum continuing to grow ahead of Italy hosting the Ryder Cup for the first time in 2022, the number of rounds played by international golfers rose by 200,000 between 2014 and 2017.
The country has proved particularly popular with players from the UK, Germany, Switzerland, France and Scandinavia while the positive impact has also been felt by the European golf tourism industry during the same period, with an increased number of specialist tour operators switching to Italy as a golf destination.
Next month, 26 exhibitors from 11 different regions will head to Cannes on the French Riviera to showcase Italy’s extensive golf offering to a global industry audience at the International Golf Travel Market.
Representatives from a combination of golf clubs, resorts, regional tourist boards and tour operators from the regions represented – Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Tuscany, Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, Liguria, Lazio, Puglia and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia – will meet show delegates throughout the week to discuss opportunities to further promote Italy in the future.
Bruno Bertero, project co-ordinator for Italy Golf & More, said: “Not only does the desire for travellers to visit our wonderful country remain as big as ever, but there is a real appetite for people to play golf in Italy, which is seen in the growing number of international golfers that we are continuing to attract.
“The response that we have received since we made a concerted effort to promote Italian golf and its many delights to a wider market has been outstanding, and we’re optimistic that the numbers will continue to grow in 2018 and beyond.”
With no fewer than 142 18-hole courses, Italy is the ideal destination to combine a golfing break with the chance to experience many of its other historic, cultural and gastronomic delights.
With 20 airports in the UK operating regular flights to all over Italy, the country has never been so accessible, while its warm climate and mixture of mouth-watering cuisine, fine wines, spas, history, culture and beaches make it the perfect location for a golf break.
Italian Golf Federation www.federgolf.it