Global Edition

Maximising golf tourism in Scotland

9.13am 1st June 2005 - Travel

Golf Tourism Scotland is a new organisation made up of businesses and clubs from across the country involved in the golf and hospitality sectors. The stated aim is to work with the public agencies to develop a clear vision and strategy for Scottish golf tourism.

Chairman Gary Wilkinson was enthused by the opportunities ahead and said, “The new organisation fulfils a number of roles for golf and tourism and will lead to an almost immediate improvement in communications between the public and private sector and through this to an increase in effective market and business development opportunities. The golf tourism industry is made up of a diverse range of businesses, large and small, involved not only in the provision of tee times but accommodation, transport, retail, marketing, practice facilities and other key areas such as training and services. Golf Tourism Scotland has been set up to create a new voice for these diverse interests and has already received some positive messages from the public agencies and in particular financial support from Scottish Enterprise to enable GTS to reach this stage.”

Gary Wilkinson continued, “GTS is intended to assist the public sector bodies in the delivery of their own targets relating to tourism and golf and with the proposals we have mapped out for the coming months we hope to see a greater level of communication and integration with bodies such as the enterprise companies, councils and VisitScotland and the Scottish Executive themselves. Through a range of project groups, GTS will also be developing and co-ordinating a range of new initiatives to bring direct business benefits to its members specifically and the industry in general.”

Golf Tourism Scotland has been set up as a membership organisation and one of its first tasks is to secure the support of the top golf clubs in the country. Ian Bunch, secretary of Prestwick Golf Club, was appointed vice chairman and he urged every golf course in the country with an interest in developing the visitor market to join the new organisation. “Prestwick Golf Club recognises the value to the local economy of attracting the golfing visitor to the town. We also recognise that we cannot stand still and rely on the past. The golf tourism industry requires to be dynamic, responsive and ready for the challenges ahead of it from new destinations worldwide. I believe that Golf Tourism Scotland can provide the platform that the industry has been seeking for a number of years.”

Chairman: Gary Wilkinson, Wilkinson Golf and Leisure
Vice Chairman: Ian Bunch, Prestwick Golf Club.
Secretary: Jamie Gardner, Adventures in Golf
Board members: Mike Henretty, Hazelbank Townhouse, St Andrews. Joe Longmuir, DeVere Cameron House, Loch Lomond. Stewart Spence, Marcliffe at Pitfodels, Aberdeen. Kevin Fish, Glen Golf Club, North Berwick. Andy Machen-Young, Windsor Hotel, Nairn. Colin Dalgleish, Perry Golf, Helensburgh. Richard Finlay, Corporate Travel

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