The 310 delegates from 45 countries who attended the KPMG Golf Business Forum at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Powerscourt near Dublin last week were left in no doubt about just how important golf tourism is to Ireland’s economy.
Spread throughout Ireland are more than 400 golf courses including no less than 40% of the 150 true links courses that are found throughout the golfing world. Ireland has the golf product to meet every skill level and every budget, say Fà¡ilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority.
“We are delighted to be supporting the Golf Business Forum,” said the Authority. “It provides a unique platform for professionals in the golf industry to meet and do business. The growth of golf in Ireland over the past twenty years has been a unique partnership between government, public and private enterprise.
“Fà¡ilte Ireland recognises the importance of golf to our tourism industry and has invested in a golf events strategy with a view to showcasing our product to our key international markets. This year we shall support the Irish Open, the Irish Seniors Open and the Irish Ladies Open as part of our build up to hosting the Solheim Cup in 2011.
“The Irish golfing community meets and welcomes almost 170,000 visitors annually. Of these some 50,000 are from North America, 80,000 from Britain and 30,000 travel from mainland Europe.
“Golf is one of Ireland’s greatest tourist attractions contributing an estimated €130 million to the economy.”