Scotland will take its seat at the biggest global platform in golf business next month when VisitScotland plays a prominent role in the HSBC Golf Business Forum in Shanghai.
The two-day conference is the largest and most significant meeting of golf business executives and decision-makers on the planet, featuring key influencers such as PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of the European Tour Keith Pelley and John Solheim, President and CEO of PING.
Joining the impressive list of speakers for the conference at the Pudong Shangri La Hotel, from 1-4 November, is Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, who will use the platform to discuss Scotland’s role in attracting and hosting the biggest tournaments in world golf and how the organisation uses these events to market Scotland as the Home of Golf.
Bush, who oversees an annual investment of £3m in golf through the EventScotland team within the VisitScotland Events Directorate, said: “The HSBC Golf Business Forum is a unique gathering of the most influential people within the sport and I am honoured to have the opportunity to join that stage and to talk about Scotland’s significant role in the world of golf.
“Scotland is one of the most recognisable brands in golf and the profile we have enjoyed thanks to hosting the biggest tournaments in world golf has been phenomenal.
“Our investment in golf events is a key strand of our activity to promote Scotland as a global golf and tourism destination. Scotland has been the venue for some of the most dramatic and endearing moments in golf and with each event played in Scotland, new golfing history is made. There is no doubt that when golf fans round the world watch their heroes playing magnificent courses in Scotland it inspires them to learn more and to visit the country for themselves.
“I look forward to sharing our ideas on such a global forum in Shanghai and to potentially fostering new relationships and partnerships to keep Scotland at the forefront of the game for many more years to come.”
Scotland has enjoyed an almost unprecedented profile on the world stage in recent years thanks to staging of major golf events including The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, The Open at St Andrews and the Women’s British Open at Turnberry in the space of just 10 months.
In just 12 months from The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, more than 622,000 spectators attended golf events in Scotland with hundreds of millions more watching on TV in 200 territories around the planet.
Figures from the recently published 2014 Ryder Cup Economic Benefits Study showed that the event supported economic activity of £106m in Scotland while 63 per cent of spectators attended from outside Scotland. The report also revealed that 68 per cent of visiting spectators expected to return to Scotland for a golf or leisure break within a year.
Following on from 2015, Scotland remains committed to hosting the biggest events in world golf with a number of Major Championships already confirmed for future years including The Open at Royal Troon in 2016 and Carnoustie in 2018, the Senior Open Championship in 2016 and the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns in 2017.
Scotland’s investment in events such as the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge and the Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Seniors Open is also confirmed for future years as a legacy from The 2014 Ryder Cup.
In addition, Scotland is currently bidding to host The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, with a decision expected by the Ladies European Tour at the end of October.