New Scottish Golf Tourism and Visitor Strategy Revealed
The new Scottish Golf Tourism and Visitor Strategy places a focus on destination development, community engagement, education and health as the industry recovers from the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and build for the future.
Led by the Scottish Golf Tourism Development Group (SGTDG), in consultation with the entire golf tourism industry, the strategy has been developed to help shape and support the future of the industry from 2022 to 2030.
The SGTDG includes Scottish Golf, The PGA in Scotland, SIGTOA, Scotland Where Golf Began and Regional Golf Tourism Development Groups across the country, spanning multiple sectors including accommodation, tour operators and travel companies. Observers of the group include VisitScotland, the national tourism organisation.
The strategy, developed by strategic marketing agency platform77, was founded on the findings of research, including a wide-ranging industry questionnaire, conducted with the extended golf tourism industry and related sectors across the country.
The launch follows a unique ‘Summer of Golf’ where five tournaments – The 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield, Senior Open at Gleneagles, Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance and Trust Golf Scottish Women’s Open at Dundonald – were played over five consecutive weeks of the summer on some of the country’s very best and most iconic courses. The events were enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of spectators and beamed across the globe.
In addition to concentrating on the recognised golfing tourist, the strategy has a wider visitor golfer focus – given their importance to the majority of golf courses and businesses at all levels – and identifies how stakeholders can effectively engage with them to positively impact their organisation.
To enable this, it focuses on core areas such as community engagement, developing opportunities for young people, improving health and wellbeing, skills development and delivering collaborative projects with key partners – with a focus on the short, medium and long-term priorities.
Tourism Minister Ivan McKee said: “It is a very important time for the tourism industry in Scotland as the sector looks to rebuild following the pandemic and domestic and international travel resumes.
“Scotland is the Home of Golf and this strategy, backed by £30,000 of Scottish Government funding is aiding the growth of the sector, whilst providing a range of community, educational and sporting benefits. We’ve recently had major golf events held across some of Scotland’s most famous courses, including The 150th Open Championship at St Andrews and the AIG Women’s British Open at Muirfield.”
“The Scottish Government is fully behind the tourism and golf sectors as we build for the future.”
Karin Sharp, Chief Operating Officer at Scottish Golf, said: “Scottish Golf is focussed on strengthening partnerships within the golf industry and across the sporting sector to ensure we cater to the needs of all our stakeholders.
“We are delighted to see the new Golf Tourism and Visitor Strategy launched. We recognise how important visitor golfers are to clubs and this is demonstrated via the grant funding we awarded to 50 clubs across the country to develop bespoke visitor focused marketing plans. The strategy identifies a number of key areas for clubs to consider and we look forward to supporting delivery over the coming years.”
“Our members across the country are very much at the forefront of delivering a memorable experience to the visitor golfer” explained David Longmuir, Manager of PGA in Scotland. “The strategy contains key themes that are relevant to the wide ranging strategic, management and operational roles undertaken across the industry by PGA Professionals, and we look forward to engaging with the delivery going forwards.”
Stuart French, Chair of the Scottish Golf Tourism Development Group, added: “We were immensely grateful to have been provided with the opportunity by the Scottish Government to develop the 2022 – 2030 Scottish Golf Tourism and Visitor Strategy.
“The scope of the new strategy is far-reaching and includes areas like education, collaborative working and community engagement. This approach will provide businesses, regardless of size, type or location, with the information and support to help deliver an excellent experience for the visitor golfer.”