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Scottish golf swings into Cannes

Press release   •   Dec 14, 2017 12:52 GMT

VisitScotland is leading a mission at golf’s top global trade event to promote golf tourism in Scotland, which is already worth £286 million to the national economy.

The national tourism organisation has taken nine Scottish golf businesses to the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), the world’s premier tourism trade event for the sport, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

The increase in popularity of Scotland as a golf tourism destination and the success of major events such as The Open, Ricoh Women’s British Open and The 2014 Ryder Cup among others has seen the value of golf tourism in Scotland soar by 30% since 2009 to £286 million – as the industry targets £300 million by 2020.

Next year, The Open will take place at Carnoustie – considered one of the world’s most challenging links courses – for the eighth time in its history and the first time in 11 years.

Carnoustie Country, which includes the world-renowned Carnoustie Championship course as part of Carnoustie Golf Links, is attending the event in Cannes, France (11-14 December) with Team Scotland, alongside partners including The Gleneagles Hotel, host venue of 2014’s memorable Ryder Cup and forthcoming Solheim Cup in 2019.

With more than 500 golf suppliers and 400 buyers attending, representing 65 countries, IGTM 2017 will see more than 14,000 one-to-one meetings take place between golf tour operators, who collectively control 80% of the world’s outbound golf tourism market, and exhibitors during the four-day event.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said:

“We are delighted to once again have a strong Scottish presence at IGTM, which is a key platform to engage with international buyers in order to attract visitors from established and emerging markets.

“With almost 600 courses the length and breadth of the country, Scotland offers an enviable mix of fairways and greens for the visiting golf addict to choose from. With The 147th Open at Carnoustie in 2018 and The 2019 Solheim Cup among the coming highlights in the sporting calendar, Scotland’s reputation as the Home of Golf and the world’s best golf tourism destination continues to grow.

“IGTM gives VisitScotland and our partners the chance to meet face-to-face with tour operators and golf businesses from around the world. We look forward to sharing knowledge and continuing our support ahead of another exciting period for golf in Scotland.”

Team Scotland delegation at IGTM:

  • Ayrshire Golf Scotland
  • Carnoustie Country
  • Golf Aberdeenshire
  • Fife Golf Partnership
  • Links Golf St Andrews
  • Scotland's Golf Coast
  • The Gleneagles Hotel
  • University of St Andrews
  • Waldorf Astoria

The International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) brings together specialist golf tour operators, incentive travel agents, meetings and conference organisers with leading hotels, resorts, golf courses, airlines and other suppliers of golf related products. Tour operators are all pre-qualified and include the major companies in the outbound golf market, specialist golf tour operators, leading wholesalers and online agencies involved with golf tourism.


Notes to Editors

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  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
  • 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.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
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  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017