VisitEngland backs group’s ‘local approach’ to attracting tourists
Golf Tourism England has been praised by VisitEngland, the national tourism body, for the early work it has done in galvanising golfing venues at a local level to work together to attract more visitors.
The group’s work has helped to show clubs a different outlook, with more now working closely together with their neighbours, rather than viewing them as rivals for green fees and memberships.
The strategy has already seen a number of what Golf Tourism England is calling ‘clusters’ pop up around the country, including the Pennines Golf Trail, Suffolk Coastal Golf, The Dorset Heathland Tour, and Southern Counties Heathland Tour.
Reaching out to local accommodation providers and building links has allowed golf clubs to move forward with the backing and support of others in the region to show off what the area has to offer to travelling golfer and, ultimately, help to make the prospect of a visiting much more appealing.
James Berresford, VisitEngland chief executive, is a big supporter of Golf Tourism England and praised the work the body is continuing to do with clubs throughout the country.
He said: “It is very pleasing to see they are gaining the backing of the golf industry by strengthening bonds between clubs at a local and regional level, creating a more attractive product for travelling golfers.
“While some areas may lack an Open Championship host or tour-ready layout, through a combined effort to come together as a ‘cluster’ or golf tour, there is real potential to create golf destinations that offer the very best that England has to offer as one of the world’s longest-established and most diverse golfing nations.”
Andrew Cooke, the chief executive and founder of Golf Tourism England, said he was delighted to see so many traditional private members’ clubs taking on a forward-thinking approach.
“We are now seeing clubs begin to lay the foundations for growth in golf tourism in England for the next five to ten years,” he said. “If we take the Dorset Heathland Tour, for example, which includes incredible courses like Parkstone, Ferndown, Broadstone and Remedy Oaks, we get an impression of the depth of quality and variety that golf in England can offer.”