Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Scottish golf tourism initiative to be expanded

A MAJOR golf tourism initiative, launched two years ago to bring more golfers to the North east of Scotland - home to the Trump golf resort - is to be expanded to meet the demand from visitors and operators.

Scottish Golf Trails was launched in December 2010 in a bid to increase the region’s share of the lucrative golf tourism sector.

And today the organisation announced it is increasing its range of tailored stay and play golf holiday packages to include more golf courses and accommodation providers. An economic report, published earlier this year, forecast that golf tourism in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire could rise from its current £27million contribution tot the local economy to £67million by 2020.

A spokesman for Scottish Golf Trails said: “Scottish Golf Trails now offers four trails covering 29 of the finest links and parkland courses in North east Scotland, covering Perthshire, Fife, Angus, Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Highlands. Courses that have joined the scheme include Gleneagles, Kingsbarns, Trump International, Castle Stuart and Royal Dornoch.

“The four trails – Scottish Classics, Royal Deeside, North East Links and Highland Treasures – will be marketed in conjunction with 17 select accommodation providers to offer integrated golfing holiday packages.”

The spokesman continued: “When it launched, Scottish Golf Trails filled a gap in the golf tourism market in the North east of Scotland, generating welcome additional revenue for businesses in the area. The opening of Castle Stuart and Trump International golf courses has generated a large amount of international interest in playing golf in North east Scotland.

“When the Scottish Open moves to Royal Aberdeen in 2014, having been held at Castle Stuart in the three previous years, it is predicted that the exposure generated by this will also help to put the region’s courses on golfers’ must-play lists.”

Hector Emslie, Scottish Golf Trails’ director, said: “Trump International Golf Links has really put the North east on the golfing map, particularly in America, so it is exciting to also have their support.”
He added: “Over the next four years Scottish golf courses will receive extensive exposure around the world as three Open championships and the Ryder Cup are held in the country. A lot of interest in playing golf in the North east and Highlands has been generated thanks to the Scottish Open being held in the area. We have to capitalise on this exposure to increase the number of golfers wishing to holiday here.”

Helma Scheffler, a German marketing specialist, has already been appointed by Scottish Golf Trails to promote its range of packages to golfers in Germany and capitalise on a direct air link between Aberdeen and Frankfurt.

She said: “Scotland’s dramatic scenery and reputation as the home of golf are big draws for Germany’s 900,000 golfers. Many of them will travel abroad on golfing holidays twice a year, one of which will be to a short-haul destination such as Scotland. The North east of Scotland has a lot to offer German golfers with many courses being within easy reach of Aberdeen. The direct air route from Frankfurt is also hugely important.

“There is great potential for Scottish Golf Trails in the German market because of the quality of its integrated product. German golfers are big spenders, but are also looking for a high standard of service. Because the trails are so well packaged with accommodation and courses, the scheme will also be popular with golf professionals who organise overseas trips for their students several times a year.”

NEW MEMBER: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Scotland, the Home of Golf... and whisky!

There's no doubt that in Scotland a "wee dram" and 18 holes go hand in hand. That's why at this year's PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, members of Golf Tourism Scotland (GTS) and their industry partners were delighted to have the support of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) who proudly supported the Team Scotland presence as stand sponsor. Over the show period 43,000 PGA Professionals, buyers and industry leaders from 75 countries passed through the doors of the Orange County Convention Centre. At the Scotland Stand, visitors were introduced to an impressive selection of rare, single cask malt whiskies provided by SMWS. On hand to pass on their knowledge and oversee the whisky tasting process were two society members, Derek Scott from Craigielaw Golf Club and GTS Director and representative of Scotland's Golf Coast, Allan Minto.
This partnership will continue to strengthen further as GTS today announces SMWS as their newest member and industry partner.
Speaking about the success of the partnership, Minto said"The PGA Show provides an outstanding platform to showcase Scotland's world-class golf product. The association with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society enhanced Scotland's presence through the representation of two of the country's greatest icons and generated additional interest, making our attendance at this year's event the most successful to date"
Following the success of the society's first collaboration with GTS, SMWS UK Sales Manager Mark van der Vijver commented "As the Home of the world's foremost Malt Whisky Club, we are pleased we can support GTS attract enthusiasts to the Home of Golf. Our wide range of single cask whiskies are a perfect pairing with Scotland's world-class golfing experiences - together offering the ultimate Scottish experience"
More information about membership of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society can be found on their website www.smws.co.uk. Private golf-themed whisky dinners at SMWS can be booked at www.smwsevents.co.uk, including SMWS golf days in East Lothian. Stand partners are now being sought for the PGA Merchandise Show 2014, the year of the next Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. If you would like to attend, register your interest by email to events@golftourismscotland.com

GTS Board Appointments

In recent months the GTS Board has been strengthened and we are delighted to welcome our newest Board members:
  • Mark Rigg, Links Golf St Andrews 
  • Elaine Stephen, Cruden Bay Golf Club
  • Ross Whitfield, The Carrick Cameron House
With the new Board Members GTS is now in a stronger position to maximise the opportunities for members. We have completed a 3 year business and marketing strategy that provides the vision and framework for building a prosperous, healthy and sustainable Golf Tourism Industry Association and how to we can support the industry to increase the value of Golf Tourism in Scotland.

View the entire board structure here.

GTS aims to support the development and sustainability of Golf Tourism in Scotland by developing and delivering a programme of actions and activities for members that enhance their own, and Scotland’s success. To do this, GTS itself needs to be a vibrant, sustainable, professional organisation representing the Golf Tourism sector in Scotland.

To achieve this ambition and meet its aims, the core activities of GTS are:
1. Representation, Advocacy, Communication and Lobbying;
2. Membership Development - Advice, News and Networking;
3. Golf Destination Marketing
4. Management and Administration of the Association

The Board will be identifying specific actions and activities to achieve our ambitions for Golf Tourism in Scotland at our next Board meeting in July and we will update members of these in the next newsletter.