‘Long overdue’ Golf Tourism England is launched
WATCH OUT Scotland, Ireland and Wales - English golf is about to start shouting from the rooftops about the quality of its golf courses. For years, Scotland, Ireland and Wales have been known to heavily push tourism, and now England is stepping up to the plate with the launch of a new tourism body.
Golf Tourism England has been established within the golf travel industry to promote England as “one of the most outstanding golfing destinations in the world”.
Despite the fact that England is home to approximately 50% of Great Britain and Ireland’s top 100 golf courses, it has not enjoyed the luxury or the benefits of having an organisation to represent the multi-million pound English golf tourism industry that exists in the country. The members involved in Golf Tourism England want a “louder, stronger voice within the golf industry” and believe that a “coordinated approach” will help attract more traffic to the country.
“Already the positive response by a number of English golf courses, resorts and regional destinations to the establishment of Golf Tourism England has shown that there is strong support for such a body to promote English golf. The quality, history and variety of the truly magnificent golf courses available in England have remained a well-kept secret internationally for far too long and this needs to be addressed,” said Andrew Cooke, founder of Golf Tourism England.
“For many years now, Scotland, Ireland and Wales have all taken a proactive and coordinated approach to attracting golf tourism into their countries and have clearly reaped the rewards.
“Golf Tourism England will look to follow suit and ensure that English golf destinations are promoted around the world and so compete for a significant share of the lucrative golf tourism market.”
Golf Tourism England’s first aim is to become the recognised body that represents every aspect of the golf tourism industry in England and to take a leading role in the development and marketing of the industry on an international stage.
The new body will also develop, coordinate and implement a range of services and activities that will benefit its members and to ultimately drive forward and expand golf tourism in England.
The launch of Golf Tourism England has been met with immediate success with a number of golf travel organisations already on board. Regional golf bodies Visit Kent, England’s Golf Coast and England’s Atlantic Links have all signedon, as have golf tour operators Your Golf Travel, Golf Breaks, Leisure Link Golf Holidays, Quality Golf Destinations and Red Tee Breaks. Premier golf clubs and resorts The Grove, The Lodge at Prince’s, Leaderboard Group, Golf At Goodwood, Woburn and Brocket Hall have also shown their commitment to the new organisation.
Factors such as the financial downturn, the surge of golf course construction in the ‘90s leading to oversupply, falling golf club memberships and reduced numbers attending corporate and society days has hit the domestic golf market putting it under more and more pressure and has led to the formation of a body like Golf Tourism England all the more important and necessary.
Importantly, the new initiative has also been endorsed by IAGTO.
IAGTO’s General Manager, Carlton Carugati, said the new body was “long overdue”, adding that he hoped the body would promote English golf “on the same parallels as Scotland and Ireland at major golf shows and events”.