The Costa Brava region in north-eastern Catalonia believes The 2014 Open de España legacy is already taking shape. According to a recent report by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, there was a 2.4% increase in foreign visitors to Catalonia in June compared with the same month in 2013, which set a new tourism record for the first half of the year, with 7.1 million foreign tourists to the region.
The European Tour event, which was held near Girona at World Top 100 venue, PGA Catalunya Resort, and won by Spanish golfing icon, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, attracted over 39,000 visitors during tournament week, and injected an estimated 1.8 million Euros into the area.
With a potential combined household reach of almost half a billion viewers from around the world, according to The European Tour’s tournament valuation report, this year’s Open de España has also achieved a cumulative global media value of over $16 million – more than double what was secured for the 2013 event.
Ramón Ramos, Director of Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board, said he was pleased The 2014 Open de España had been such a major triumph, offering outstanding golf and achieving thousands of hours of global media coverage for Spain’s best golf course.
“An important goal for us has been to ensure that the four-day event was not a one-off success story, but a platform to provide support to local tourism businesses, elevate PGA Catalunya Resort’s status as a great golfing venue and boost the area’s reputation as an important European golf destination,” he said.
For over a decade, Golf Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona’s Golf Marketing Club, which consists of golf clubs and resorts, hotels, restaurants and numerous tourist attractions, as well as the tourism board itself, have all been working together to promote the region as a must-visit, European hot-spot.
“Since Costa Brava was voted the IAGTO Emerging Golf Destination of the Year in 2000, we have aimed our strategic plans and marketing campaigns at increasing awareness of the fantastic courses and facilities available in our region,” he added. “The interest has since been phenomenal, and hosting The 2014 Open de España has been the icing on the cake.
“Costa Brava is a perfect destination for golfers of all levels – right on Barcelona’s doorstep – with great courses, experiences, and value that cannot be met by any other golf destination. Plus there is a wealth of historical, cultural, sporting and leisure attractions for family members not so eager to spend all their time on the greens.”
Located an hour north of Barcelona and easily accessible thanks to Girona-Costa Brava Airport – an important Ryanair hub – the region is home to many exceptional courses. In addition to European Tour Destination, PGA Golf Catalunya Resort, visitors can also play two European Top 100 venues, Empordà Golf and Golf Platja de Pals, as well as Club Golf D’Aro-Mas Nou, Golf Girona, and Club de Golf Costa Brava, the region’s oldest golf course. For those looking for a quick round, the Gualta par-3 course is ideal, while more leisurely rounds can be enjoyed at Torremirona Golf Club and Club de Golf Peralada Golf Club, in the north of the region.
Costa Brava also provides visitors with a wide variety of accommodation, from luxurious hotels to farmhouses.
Food connoisseurs are also spoilt for choice, enjoying authentic Catalan cuisine from Spain’s highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants, including the three Michelin-star El Celler de Can Roca in Girona – ranked 2nd in Restaurant Magazine’s World Top 50 – and Els Tinars in Santa Cristina d’Aro.
Additional information on Costa Brava can be found at www.costabrava.org and www.costabrava.org/what-to-do/golf