Golf Tourism England (GTE), the recently-formed body charged with generating more visitor income for English golf courses from tourism, this week announced the formation of a strategic partnership with England Golf.
The agreement signals England Golf’s support for the membership body, which intends to unite the stakeholders within golf tourism in one of the sport’s most developed markets.
Since its launch in July 2014, almost 100 golf properties and tour operators have enlisted as GTE members, with further support for the initiative already having been offered by Visit England, the national tourist board.
GTE founder and CEO, Andrew Cooke, said: “We are delighted that England Golf has given its backing to Golf Tourism England and I believe that this partnership will allow us to establish stronger working relationships between the many individual bodies which have a stake in English golf tourism at present.
“Our job is to identify opportunities for these groups to work together and create cross-marketing strategies in order for tour operators to create outstanding bespoke packages to benefit the all-round tourism experience.
“In recent times, England has been guilty of resting on its laurels, while others around us, particularly our neighbours in Scotland and Ireland, have greatly benefitted from a joined-up approach, which has yielded excellent returns in terms of inbound tourism.
“With six Open Championship venues past and present, some of the world’s best links courses, parkland, heathland and cliff-top golf, as well as vibrant cities and endless miles of beautiful natural countryside, we are confident that a similar approach can establish England as a prominent destination for golfers worldwide.”
The partnership supports the aim of England Golf to create a brighter future for the sport. Its strategy, ‘Raising Our Game’, was launched last summer to create stronger clubs, increase the number of regular golfers and to halt the decline in club membership.
England Golf chief executive, David Joy, said: “England Golf is working at the heart of a network of partners to build stronger golf clubs. This new partnership offers an excellent opportunity to support and educate clubs to promote themselves to tourists from home and abroad and increase their visitor income. It will also encourage local partnerships, with groups of clubs working alongside tour operators and accommodation providers for the benefit of themselves and their communities.
“We will be working closely with Andrew and his team in the coming months to encourage clubs to join GTE and benefit from a more harmonised approach to golf tourism.”
Golf Tourism England www.golftourismengland.com