Italy is not well-known as a golf holiday destination but, with over 70% of all the world’s ‘heritage attractions’ within its borders, the country has always been a popular tourist destination.
Yesterday in London a press conference hosted by the Italian Tourist Board and the Italian Golf Federation launched the promotion of Italy as a new golf holiday destination. “Everyone wants to come to Italy for a holiday,” says Dr Paolo Piras of Golf Vacanze. “But hardly anybody thinks of coming to Italy to play golf. This is something that we want to change.
“Italian golf clubs charge their members high entrance fees and high annual subscriptions. The golf courses and clubhouses are immaculate but the fees to visitors are quite moderate and compare favourably with those charged by other golf destinations in Spain and Portugal.”
“Visitors are always welcome,” said Stefano Manca, secretary general of the Italian Golf Federation, “even in private and exclusive clubs.”
Emilia Romagna is the leading Italian region for golf tourism. There are more than twenty golf courses and many hotels promoting golfing holidays both for individuals and groups. Many other regions are now keen to promote golf, either as a complete holiday or combined with the more traditional Italian holiday pursuits.
In every wine producing area, for example, there are organised wine and golf tours. Near all the major cities noted for the arts there are also golf courses. This is also true of the spa towns, near the Italian lakes, in the mountains and by the sea. As well as green fees that will seem quite reasonable to the travelling golfer, the courses tend to be relatively uncrowded, especially during the week, and offer a wide choice of tee-times without the need for advance booking.
This promotion of Italy as a new golf holiday destination began nine months ago at the World Travel Market in London and complements the marketing activities of operators such as Alitalia and Longmere Golf who were also represented at yesterday’s conference.
The Italian Golf Federation is keen to emphasise that golf in Italy is a family activity and that women golfers and juniors are encouraged to play.
Italian Golf Federation www.federgolf.it
Golf Vacanze www.golfvacanze.com
Emilia Romagna Golf www.emiliaromagnagolf.com
Longmere Golf www.longmeregolf.com
Piedmont Golf Association www.notonlygolf.com