To capitalise on the legacy of The Ryder Cup, the Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, has announced support from the Welsh Assembly Government’s Major Events Unit for The Celtic Manor Wales Open golf tournament for the next four years. The aim is to develop the event and enhance its position as one of the leading tournaments on The European Tour International Schedule.
As part of the successful Ryder Cup bid, The Celtic Manor Resort is committed to hosting the event up to and including 2014. Following the successful staging of October’s Ryder Cup, the return of many of the world’s best golfers for The Celtic Manor Wales Open, from June 2-5 this year, will no doubt support the drive to attract new golf visitors to Wales from both the UK and key international markets.
A recently published economic impact study indicated The Celtic Manor Wales Open brought more than £1.5 million per annum into the Welsh economy through spectator spend on accommodation, food, travel, tournament tickets and associated costs.
Over the next four years, the Assembly Government will provide a grant of up to £1.2 million to support the delivery of the event. The Heritage Minister said: “The economic impact of The Ryder Cup was announced yesterday. However, the impact of that memorable event extends way beyond the four days of play during October 2010.
Winning the right to host The Ryder Cup had a catalytic effect on golf tourism in Wales. Since 2002, the value of golf tourism has increased from £7 million to £42 million per annum. We need to ensure that we capitalise on this legacy and we will be seeking to build a portfolio of golf events across Wales which will build on the success of The Ryder Cup and showcase Wales as a golf tourism destination able to compete strongly with the more established destinations of Ireland and Scotland.
“I’m also pleased that the event actively encourages participation through exhibition stands, a golf skills challenge area will also be provided free to spectators by Golf Development Wales. Some of the top European Tour professionals will also be invited to take part.
Alongside the main event, the Principality Junior Wales Open has also been established which sees over 300 junior golfers from across Wales participate each year.”
Dylan Matthews, Chief Executive of The Celtic Manor Resort, said: “We thank the Welsh Assembly Government for this support which will be re-invested in promoting The Celtic Manor Wales Open and giving our spectators even more value for money. It is important that we build on that legacy of staging The Ryder Cup in Wales for the first time and we look forward to welcoming the stars of The European Tour back to Celtic Manor in June.”
Richard Hills, The European Tour Ryder Cup Director, said: “We welcome this new support and leadership from the Welsh Assembly Government for The Celtic Manor Wales Open. The tournament has grown in stature since it was first played in 2000 and this year will mark the fourth time that it has been played on The Twenty Ten Course where Europe regained The Ryder Cup last October. None of this, of course, would have been possible without the visionary Chairman of The Celtic Manor Resort, Sir Terry Matthews, and we look forward to an outstanding 12th edition of The Celtic Manor Wales Open on The European Tour International Schedule in June.”