Golf tourism worth £286m a year to Scots economy

The economic value of golf tourism and events to Scotland has increased to £286 million a year, according to a study commissioned by VisitScotland and Scottish Enterprise.

The study revealed the value of golf tourism and events has increased by 30% or £66 million since 2008, supporting 4,700 jobs and spreading benefits across the country’s golfing regions.

It also revealed that overseas golfing visitors spend on average £338 per night during a trip to Scotland, which is more than four times the £78.90 daily spend of an average overseas visitor.

Other findings of the study included:

  • Almost half (47%) of overnight visitors travel from overseas to play golf in Scotland
  • The North American market represents 30% of all overnight golfing visitors, with 14% coming from Europe
  • On average, overnight golfing visitors spend 6.79 nights in Scotland while for overseas visitors the duration jumps to 10.21
  • Overnight visitors spend on average 7.5 days playing golf while they also average 3.85 days on other tourism activities
  • On average an overnight golfing visitor will spend £245 per night but this number jumps to £338 for visitors from overseas — and for North Americans, this figure increases to £405 per night
  • The majority of overseas visitors (57%) have been to Scotland before suggesting that, for many, a trip to Scotland is not seen as a once in a lifetime experience
  • Of all overnight visitors, 81% overall agreed their trip was one of the best golfing holidays or short breaks they had ever taken

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “These findings outline the importance golf tourism and events play in supporting Scotland’s visitor economy and the Scottish economy as a whole.

“Golf is one of Scotland’s unique selling points which resonates with potential visitors all over the world and signifies why we place huge importance promoting Scotland as the Home of Golf to a global market place.

“Our support of international golf events and our global golf marketing activity gives us significant media profile and I am delighted that this is in turn reflected in golf’s contribution to the Scottish economy.”

Danny Cusick, Tourism Sector Portfolio Director at Scottish Enterprise, said:Scotland has some of the finest golfing assets in the world as well as a rich golfing history and heritage, and with such tremendous international appeal, it comes as no surprise that the value of this important tourism sector has grown enormously in recent years.

“But we mustn’t rest on our laurels; we want ambitious Scottish golf tourism companies to capitalise on this upward trend and consider how best they can develop and scale their business to meet the growing domestic and international demand.

“We have a range of support available for companies looking to expand, develop their products, find new customers and assist their growth plans, and would encourage companies to contact Scottish Enterprise to find out more.”