Turkey was today announced as the ‘rising star’ of golf destinations in a KPMG report announced at the Turkish Airlines Open 2015. Following phenomenal growth in golf tourism over the past decade, the recent report was presented at an event at the Maxx Royal hotel in Belek, Turkey.
KPMG’s extensive research revealed that golf has played a pivotal role in the remarkable growth of tourism in Turkey, particularly over the last decade. It also outlined the potential for golf to continue to grow in this fertile marketplace, as more courses and facilities are created.
Turkey has moved from 12th in the world in 2004 to sixth in 2014 in terms of numbers of tourist arrivals. The country now receives 12% of its GDP through the travel and tourism sector, and golf is playing an increasingly significant role in Turkey’s offer to tourists. As the report finds, “Turkey has led the way among emerging markets” in developing a competitive and attractive golfing offering.
The report revealed that golf in Turkey remains focussed on the area known as the Golf Coast near Antalya. There is a particular ‘golf cluster’ around Belek, an area that has experienced “extraordinary growth” in the past ten years compared to the rest of Europe. Since 2004 the number of golf clubs in the area has tripled, and the number of rounds played is now over two and a half times higher. In 2014 an extraordinary 513,000 rounds of golf were played the in the region and KPMG found that Belek now ranks as the top performing golf destination in the whole of the Mediterranean.
The growth of the game in Turkey, although primarily fuelled by tourism, is also stimulating golfing talent among Turkey’s population – in particular with younger golfers. The Turkish Golf Federation has 45% junior membership – the highest proportion of young players of any federation in Europe.
The report also predicted that Turkish golf is likely to continue of this journey of rapid growth. Seventy five per cent of key market players expect to report a good or excellent year in 2015.
Together with other industry research materials, KPMG’s report ‘Turkey – The Rising Star of Golf’ is available to download
This week it was announced that the Turkish Airlines Open will continue as part of the European Tour’s Final Series for at least another three years, and Turkish Airlines will remain as headline sponsor. As well as this flagship international tournament Turkish Airlines, the national carrier, also supports many other golfing events in the country and is a driving force behind the country’s golfing development.
Ahmet Agaoglu, President of the Turkish Golf Federation, said: “It has been my pleasure to see the growth of this great sport in my country over the past few years. The report’s findings are no surprise to me, as I see every day the enthusiasm and excitement people get from playing golf in this beautiful country. I look forward to seeing the continued growth of Turkey as golf’s Rising Star.”
Andrea Sartori, Global Head of Sport at KPMG, said: “Our findings show that Turkey has great development potential. With a progressing tourism industry, fantastic climatic conditions, a highly successful junior programme, and the commitment of stakeholders and sponsors to continue to support the game, golf in Turkey looks to have a very bright future.”
Ali Genc, Vice President Media Relations of Turkish Airlines said: “We are very proud to support golf in Turkey, especially through the world renowned Turkish Airlines Open. As this report has found, Turkey has some wonderful golf courses – with more in the pipeline – which attract golfers from across the world. As Turkish Airlines fly to more countries than any other airline we are in a great position to bring the world’s golfers here!”
Turkish Airlines Open www.turkishairlinesopen.com