With golf fever set to hit the country for The Ryder Cup this September, many Scottish golf clubs, tour operators and accommodation providers are reporting an increase in bookings across 2014.
New feedback from VisitScotland’s industry partners shows that pre-booked tee times, advanced bookings for golf and sightseeing tours, and advanced hotel bookings have grown significantly in comparison with 2013.
The Blairgowrie Golf Club, venue of the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup, has seen an 87% rise in advanced bookings* from 2013 to 2014 and the pre-booked tee times at Kingsbarns Golf Links for September have risen by one third in comparison with 2013.
Longniddry Golf Club’s advanced bookings are up 50% on September 2013 and Dunbar Golf Club indicated that Scotland being in the global golf spotlight in 2014 has definitely increased their bookings, which are almost full during The Ryder Cup in September.
Tour operators are also feeling the benefit with McLaren Travel, who specialise in golfing and sightseeing tours, estimating that their bookings will be up around 45% in comparison with last year.
USA - based Premier Golf have also reported that sales of their official Ryder Cup packages are higher this year than they were for the previous competition in 2012 when the event was hosted in Medinah, Illinois with Americans preferring to travel overseas to capture the excitement.
In addition, Fairmont St Andrews will be at 100% occupancy during The Ryder Cup week, compared with 93% capacity in 2013.
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:
“There’s no doubt that in the last few years Scotland has enjoyed a significantly increased profile on the worldwide golfing stage thanks to being host nation of The 2014 Ryder Cup and it is fantastic to see the industry already feeling the impact, not just for September but throughout the whole of 2014.
“In the short term, the local accommodation, visitor attractions, golf courses, restaurants and many more businesses will certainly feel the benefit. In the long term, with more than 250,000 spectators attending and stunning television shots of Scotland reaching more than half a billion people across the world, this is a unique opportunity to enhance and showcase Scotland not only as the Home of Golf but also a destination for future leisure and business trips. This year is our springboard, our chance to secure a legacy.
“We have used the global focus on Scotland to upweight our dedicated golf marketing programme, which sees more than £1m targeted annually to promote Scotland throughout the UK and in other key markets overseas.“Although bookings are strong, with over 550 incredible golf courses and a wide range of accommodation options, there are still plenty of opportunities for those wanting an authentic golfing experience in Scotland, the Home of Golf during Ryder Cup year. We look forward to welcoming you all!”
Christopher Spencer, Managing Secretary at The North Berwick Golf Club said:
“The North Berwick Golf Club continues to prove to be a popular venue for visitors from all over the world. Following on from the success of The Open Championship at Muirfield last year, we had double the enquiries for this year compared to those for 2013. So far, this has resulted in a year to date increase of 20% in the number of visitors playing the course, with our usually quieter days of Monday/Tuesday being fully booked. This success is extending into September where we are fully booked from 16th September through until 4th October 2014. The last two years have seen a marked increase in visitors from Australia and New Zealand, whilst our traditional markets from Europe and North America remain strong.”
Graeme Dawson, Leisure Sales & Marketing Manager at Fairmont St Andrews said:
“The same week last year we finished at 93% occupancy. The same week this year we will be running at 100% occupancy and could probably have sold the resort out two times over!
“The extra exposure The Ryder Cup has brought to Scotland will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the volume of enquiries we receive in 2015 and we look forward to welcoming new visitors to the Home of Golf both this year and in the future.”
Jim Ward from Premier Golf (based in the USA) said:
“There is no question that the interest level for golf travel in the host country spikes during a Ryder Cup year. However, interest in our packages in Scotland have far outweighed that of Medinah where the event was held in 2012 and our sales are significantly further ahead at this stage. It is a lot easier and less expensive for Americans to get to Chicago than Scotland, so you can definitely see just how strong the Scottish pull is.”
Rory Davidson, Marketing & Assistant Secretary at Dunbar Golf Club said:
“Although September is generally a busy month for us visitor wise, The Ryder Cup being held in Scotland has definitely increased our bookings. We are not completely full around and during the event but getting pretty close!”
Since 2003, VisitScotland, the lead agency delivering Scotland’s commitments around The Ryder Cup, has attended and marketed Scotland as the Home of Golf at more than 50 international events. An upweighted global golf marketing programme, incorporating VisitScotland’s ‘Brilliant Moments’ campaign will also shine the spotlight on the country’s golf courses to help attract more visitors to our fairways.
Gleneagles will host The Ryder Cup on September 23 – 28, 2014 and there are Match Day and Practice Day tickets still available to purchase here: http://www.rydercup.com/europe/tickets
On the 24 September, The SSE Hydro will host the Ryder Cup Gala Concert, a showpiece event boasting top music acts, a full orchestra and Scotland’s major arts bodies to create one of the most exciting shows ever to be held in Scotland. The European and USA Ryder Cup teams will be joined by artists such as Jake Bugg, Nina Nesbitt, Texas, Amy Macdonald, Twin Atlantic and Nile Rodgers.
*Advanced bookings in 2013 were c.£15k against 2014 c.£28k.
For further information contact:
Corporate Press Officer
Tel: 0131 472 2283
Out of hours media enquiries: 07699 766986
Notes to Editors:
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation has three key roles:
- To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
- To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
- To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to www.visitscotland.com
- The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy.
- According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
- For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to www.visitscotland.org/about_us/our_focus/annual_report.aspx