A renewed Inverness Amsterdam air service has been welcomed by the internationally-renowned Castle Stuart Golf Links which says it will further increase interest in the Highlands for golfing visitors, particularly from the Far East.
KLM has announced that it is due to start a daily year-round service on 17 May next year between the Highland capital and Schiphol Airport. The airline will offer a number of connections to its worldwide network of over 150 destinations from Scotland, including Montreal, Beijing and Hong Kong.
It follows the news last month that British Airways will start a new year-round daily service connecting Inverness with Heathrow Airport from 3 May 2016.
Both services will begin two months before Castle Stuart hosts the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open for the fourth time in six years. Work is also due to start in the spring on a planned new course with the Arnold Palmer Design Company, which will be the legendary golfer’s first course in Scotland.
Stuart McColm, Castle Stuart Golf Links’ general manager, said: “The KLM announcement on its own is fantastic news for the Highlands. But coming soon after the BA news on Heathrow it is out of this world. There is now a real international feel to Inverness Airport.
“These new connections mean Inverness can be the first point of entry to Scotland for international visitors who can come straight to the Highlands to enjoy our spectacular golf courses, our beautiful scenery and our famous hospitality.
“As Amsterdam is an international hub for transfers, this really opens up the Far East in particular where we already have done a lot of ground work. It is a huge potential market for the Highlands and this announcement is reward for a lot of hard work being done in this area.”
The Castle Stuart links course on the Moray Firth is just five minutes’ drive from Inverness Airport, providing it with a unique selling point to domestic and international visitors.
Castle Stuart is part of the Highland Golf Links (HGL) partnership which also includes Royal Dornoch Golf Club and The Nairn Golf Club, as well as the Kingsmills Hotel and Culloden House hotel in Inverness and the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch.
Earlier this year a delegation from HGL visited China in an effort to attract more golfing visitors to the Highlands.
The last few years has seen growing interest in golf in China and more than two million men play the game there. Although the construction of courses has stopped they are moving their attention to teaching young people the game and making it easier for their people to leave the country and travel the world.
The delegation feels the Highlands is ideally placed to capitalise on the interest in high world rankings, long history, archetypal links courses and high quality accommodation.
Castle Stuart Golf Links www.castlestuartgolf.com