Figures released today [14 March] by the Welsh Assembly Government indicate that the economic impact of golf tourism in Wales during 2010 was nearly £42m. This represents an increase of 21% from 2009 at a time when total rounds played across the UK decreased by 5.3%.
The results of the 2010 Visit Wales Golf Tourism Monitor, which gave a total of £41.9m spent, were announced today at the beginning of Wales Tourism Week by Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones during a visit to Langland Bay Golf Course in the Gower.
The figures, which are collated and evaluated by an independent company, reveal that the total number of golf visitors to Wales exceeded 200,000 in 2010 an increase of 9% compared with 2009. The number of overnight visitors has increased by 12% with the average expenditure of these golfers having risen by £29 per person. The number of international overnight visitors rose considerably in 2010 accounting for 16% of the total golf tourism revenue compared to 11% in 2009 and 5% in 2008.
Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones, said: “I’m delighted to kick start Wales Tourism Week with the announcement of these excellent figures for golf tourism in Wales. The 2010 Ryder Cup has done wonders for golf in Wales and we have used the event to provide focus for Wales’ Golf Tourism Strategy, the success of which is evident in these latest figures. The Ryder Cup was fantastic for raising the profile of Wales to an international audience, both those who made the trip to the Celtic Manor and those watching on television around the world. “
“The end of the Ryder Cup is just the beginning of another chapter for golf in Wales, the next chapter will be concerned with how we build on that legacy. The 2011 Visit Wales golf marketing and promotional plans will capitalise on the success of The 2010 Ryder Cup with the aim of continuing the growth in the value and volume of golf tourism to Wales. The plans will ensure that golf in Wales and "golfasitshouldbe" is kept firmly in front of three key groups - golf consumers, golf media and golf tour operators and Visit Wales are looking at how to further improve Wales’ competitive position as a golf tourism destination beyond 2011.”
2010 was the seventh year for the Golf Tourism Monitor, the total expenditure generated through golf tourism since the monitor started in 2004 is £203m. The number of golfing visitors to Wales has increased 82% in the same period.
Ryder Cup Wales chairman, John Jermine, said: ““Since 2004, when we started collecting this data, the value of golfing tourism to Wales has nearly doubled. Now established as an international golfing destination offering the best value for money anywhere in Europe it is vital that we continue to invest in marketing Wales in America and Europe so that many more golfers will come to play our wonderful courses and making a substantial and growing contribution to the Welsh economy for many years to come.”
The positive impact of The Ryder Cup 2010 is set to continue into 2011. The Langland Bay Golf Course have recently joined Golf on Gower golf cluster who are reporting that the numbers of golfers booking and experiencing the Gower packages are up 30% on last 2010. Golf clusters are a strong legacy of The Ryder Cup. Around 10 golf clusters have now formed in Wales, whereby local accommodation providers and golf clubs work together to provide packages for the visitor, making it easy to book a golf holiday in Wales.
The Wales Golf Holiday Company, Wales’ largest in bound golf tour operator who also act as a central booking service for many of the country’s golf clusters, has also experienced a significant increase in business throughout 2010. Ian Richardson, the Chairman of the company, said: “2010 has been our most successful year to date. There is no doubt that Wales is now a renowned golf destination and that the legacy of the Ryder Cup will increase in bound golf tourism in the years to come. Advance bookings for 2011/12 show a 22% increase on the previous year. This is good news for hoteliers and golf courses throughout the whole of Wales. More people throughout Europe and the rest of the World now know that Wales offers choice, value and a warm welcome to visiting golfers”.
In looking at the effect the Ryder Cup had on golf tourism during 2010, the £42m includes expenditure on golf and tourism in Wales made by those attending the Ryder Cup but not their direct Ryder Cup spend, which is assessed via a separate economic impact study, the results of which will be announced on 23 March.