The inaugural Scottish Golf Tourism Week taking place in St Andrews in 2016 will be a game-changer for golf tourism businesses in Scotland, according to the country’s national tourism organisation.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, believes the Scottish Golf Tourism Week has the potential to change the way Scotland engages with global golf tour operators and buyers, creating more opportunities than ever before for golf travellers to visit the country where the game began.
Supported by VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Golf Tourism Week is a pioneering initiative aimed at bringing the world’s leading buyers to Scotland on annual basis to engage in a one-to-one format with golf tourism businesses from across the country.
Roughead said: “Scotland has always been a land of golfing firsts from the original rules of the game, the oldest golf courses and the first ever Open Championship. The Scottish Golf Tourism Week is another great example of that innovation and will change the way Scotland’s golf businesses engage with global buyers.
“Rather than taking Scotland to where the buyers are, we will be bringing the buyers to Scotland and letting the outstanding golfing product speak for itself when selling the country.”
Taking place at Fairmont St Andrews in October 2016, the innovative Scottish Golf Tourism Week will see up to 50 carefully-selected worldwide golf tour operators brought to Scotland, the Home of Golf to engage with businesses and destinations on home soil.
The week is being organised by PSP Media Group, who also run the successful Scottish Golf Show, and supported by both VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise as a way of giving more Scottish businesses, particularly those who do not have the resources to attend overseas events, unparalleled access to global tour operators and buyers.
The week will consist of a series of the potential for up to 2,000 business meetings as well as familiarisation trips for tour operators, seminars and networking opportunities throughout the week. The week will then culminate in the prestigious Scottish Golf Tourism Awards, where tourism business across Scotland will vie for the title of Scotland’s Best Golf Experience, as voted for by the golfing public.
The creation of the Scottish Golf Tourism Week is seen as a strong signal of intent to grow the industry by capitalising on Scotland’s position as the Home of Golf, and the global focus on the country following a series of global golf events in both 2014 and 2015.
Roughead added: “It is vital that we build on the successes of recent years given the huge exposure afforded to Scotland on the back of The 2014 Ryder Cup and The Open at St Andrews. We have many more outstanding events to look forward to in future years, including The Open at Royal Troon this year and Carnoustie in 2018 and The Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in 2019 among many others. These events undoubtedly help our world-class golf tourism industry grow and innovations such as the Scottish Golf Tourism Week will see it continue to go from strength to strength.”
Scottish businesses will be offered the chance to exhibit on an individual basis at the event, where they will have the opportunity to meet each of the buyers face-to-face. For some of the smaller businesses it will represent the first time they have been able to engage with key tour operators at an event of this scale.
Danny Cusick, Tourism Sector Portfolio Director at Scottish Enterprise, commented: “Scotland has the finest golfing assets in the world as well as a rich golfing history and heritage, attracting 220,000 golf tourists and generating £232million turnover for Scottish companies annually. We want ambitious Scottish golfing businesses to capitalise on this by showcasing their products and services to these global tour operators. We already use this ‘meet the global buyers’ model successfully in other sectors so I’m confident there will be significant opportunities for Scottish companies to win new business by participating in Scottish Golf Tourism Week.”
Tom Lovering, director of event organisers PSP Media Group, added: “As organisers of the Scottish Golf Tourism Week, we appreciate the importance of golf tourism to the whole of the Scottish economy and we have no-doubt that, over the years, this event will add several millions to an already buoyant market place. It makes sense that when selling Scotland to the world, we do it right here on our own doorsteps so buyers can see for themselves the wonderful facilities on offer.”
Scottish Golf Tourism Week www.scottishgolftourismweek.co.uk/